The Adani Group has proposed to set up an airport at its Dhamra Port in Odisha that would speed up air connectivity in a state where there is just one airport.

The airport coupled with the recent ground breaking for an LNG terminal and becoming part of the proposed coastal economic zone would make the port biggest in the country.

“The Adani group has given an offer to set up an airport at Dhamra and has sought land for it,” Sanjeev Chopra, principal secretary, state industries department, told DNA Money.

“This apart, Jharsuguda airport is expected to start commercial operations by April 2018. We are also planning to have an operational airport at Jeypore,” he said.

While the airport at Jharsuguda would be a bigger one capable of handling Airbus 320s, the ones at Dhamra and at Jeypore would be smaller ones.

Under the coastal corridor project, part of the bigger Bharatmala project, there is a plan to connect Gopalpur in Odisha to Digha in West Bengal, giving direct connectivity from Paradip to Dhamra along the coast, thereby cutting down the roundabout route by 120 kilometres.

Besides, four-laning of the road to Dhamra is happening at present, he said.

Dhamra Port would be participating, along with Paradip port, in setting up an SPV for creating logistics for the Inland Waterways 5 to connect the coal belts with the ports.

"These ports along with Inland Waterways Authority and the state government would be partners in the project. Land acquisition is currently going on and the project is expected to get completed in 3-4 years," he said.

“The central government has plans to set up 12 coastal economic zones, out of which the government think-tank Niti Aayog plans to take up 2-3 projects initially, for which we are a leading contender. Both the ports at Dhamra as well as Paradip would be part of it and we have put our case. Our main advantage is the close proximity of two major ports having deep draughts capable of handing Capesize vessels as pointed out by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant in his recent visit,” Chopra said.

The work on the Rs 5,200-crore, five-million tonne LNG terminal project, which was announced by Gautam Adani last December was recently kicked off with a ground-breaking ceremony.

“The LNG to be made available from this terminal in three years coupled with supplies from the planned Hazira-Bijaipur-Jagdishpur pipeline, which would be extended to Odisha would promote gas-based industries such as fertilisers, food processing and also power,” he said.

The CEZ, along with other planned projects like coastal corridor and the industrial zone at Kalinganagar, would make Odisha a leading investment destination for industries other than metals, Chopra said.

Source- DNA

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