All-weather Wadhavan Port located next to Dahanu near Maharashtra-Gujarat border is likely to get environment clearance in the next three months.
For decades now, the development of this port has faced stiff resistance from locals and environmentalists.
The port being planned by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), has to get environment and coastal regulation zone nods to proceed with the implementation plans.
Anil Diggikar, chairman of JNPT said, "Government of Maharashtra through the environment department has approached the Union government. The earlier port site was on land, while the one now is in the sea."
Discussions are in progress and an initial meeting between Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Environment and Forest has already taken place.
"Also, there is representation from the state government. Very soon, we will get the clearance, say, within three months," said Diggikar.
With further expansion not possible at the existing set up at JNPT, Wadhavan port will serve as a satellite port to JNPT. A detailed project report is going on and is likely to be submitted by July.
When ready, the port will be able to accommodate large-sized foreign vessels, particularly the ones that need as much as 60-80 metre draught. This planned port has a natural draught of 20 metre, whereas a minimum of 16-metre draught is needed to accommodate vessels of this size.
Once operational, proposed Wadhavan Port will have a capacity of handling up to 60 million tonne.
In 1998, Peninsular and Oriental Australia Ports or P&O Australia had bid for Wadhavan port but their bid was not considered due to opposition from locals and environmentalists. Moreover, the then state government of Shiv Sena and BJP had also failed to agree on the participation of locals and their rehabilitation.
It is only in March 2015 that the plan was revived when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Maharashtra Maritime Board and JNPT.
Source: DNAPrevious Next
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