Skip to main content

Gujarat govt "drops" its own plan to develop Bhavnagar port to help Dholera SIR off Gulf of Khambhat

By Rajiv Shah
In a major decision, the Gujarat government has dropped its plan to develop Bhavnagar port as an alternative to the Dholera port in the Gulf of Khambhat. It had had given up Dholera port following its decision to go ahead with the Kalpasar project as a huge sweet water lake by damming the. The state government had offered the top state industrial group, Adanis, to develop Bhavnagar port as alternative to Dholera port, which the Adanis were to develop in association with the JK Group, to provide Dholera special investment region (SIR) a major boost. Dholera SIR, to be developed south of Ahmedabad district, off Gulf of Khambhat, is proposed as a modern industrial-urban centre. To be developed in three phases, each of 10 years, so far no investors have shown interest in Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's ambitious SIR.
In 2011, in an effort to provide a major boost to the future of industrialization along the Gulf of Khambhat, the state government had decided to allocate alternative sites near Bhavnagar and Dahej to the Adani Group and the Infrastructure Lease and Financial Services (IL&FS), respectively, for developing new ports. The state government’s decision came after a final nod to drop development of ports at Dholera and Khambhat, for which letters of intent (LoIs) were earlier issued to the Adanis and the IL&FS.
An internal official note of the state ports and transport department, prepared in August 2011, had said the two developers had “extended the Bank Guarantee towards LoIs to confirm their interest in development of ports at alternate locations.” The note had added, the Narmada, Water Resources, Water Supply and Kalpasar department had “approved modification in Kalpasar dam alignment”, leading to the need to relocate of Dholera and Khambhat ports “on the downstream of the proposed dam” – at Bhavnagar and Dahej.
However, the state government has now topsy-turvied its own decision, saying that Pipavav port, situated about 160 kilometres west of the Dholera SIR, would be more suitable for investors wanting to transport goods overseas from the SIR, instead of Bhavnagar, which is just about 65 km away. This has been made clear in the freshly prepared proposed Environment Impact Assessment report for Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR), prepared by the Senes Consultants India Pvt Ltd, prepared by the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Ltd.
Rejecting the Bhavnagar port plan, the consultants, who have based their facts on information provided by the Gujarat government, have said, “The nearest port to the Dholera SIR is at Bhavnagar, at a distance of about 65 km. This port has a limited draft of four metres and is currently not operational.” They add, “The decision to go ahead with Kalpasar has meant that Dholera port would no longer be developed. Moreover, the draft at Bhavnagar is shallow and for all practical purposes the Dholera SIR will be catered to through Pipavav port.”
Connection between Dholera SIR and Pipavav
“Currently, the draft of Pipavav port is expected to be increased allowing the DSIR industries to export in larger volumes and reduce the logistics cost. Moreover, it is proposed to augment the capacities of Pipavav port and develop the port primarily for the purpose of handling containerized cargo. This proposed development is in line with the nature of industries proposed to be located in the Dholera SIR. Bulk of the production will required containerized transportation facilities”, the consultants said.
They added, “Pipavav port is proposed to be connected to the Dholera SIR through a dedicated toll road which will help in catering to the export-import needs of industries located in the Dholera SIR. This toll road is expected to be a key component in strengthening the connectivity of the Dholera SIR with its only port. In the absence of this toll road, the inputs for industries located in the Dholera SIR imported from other countries may reach the industry late. Absence of an expressway will also increase the operational cost of transporting goods from port to the DSIR.”
Meanwhile, “Indian Railways are doubling the existing BG line from Pipavav port northwards, which will increase rail capacity from there to Dholera and thus increase the speed and reliability of freight services to the DSIR and thus strengthen its attractiveness as an industrial location.” As for road connectivity, “government has plans to develop a six lane dual carriageway highway, with provision for up gradation to 10 lanes, between Dholera SIR and Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar and upgrade the existing National Highways and rail routes to Pipavav Port.”

Comments

TRENDING

Banned? Indian ports 'received' 38 US plastic waste containers reexported from Indonesia

By Rajiv Shah
An Indonesia-based international environmental watchdog group has dug out what it has called “a global pollution shell game”, stating how officials in Indonesia approved re-exports of “illegal” US waste shipments containing plastics mainly to India, as also to other Asian countries -- Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam -- instead of returning them to the US “as promised.”

Cops' 'inability' to deliver justice? Model Gujarat ranks 12th among 18 major states

By Rajiv Shah
A Tata Trusts study, released in Delhi on Thursday, has ranked “model” Gujarat 12th out of 18 major states it has analysed across India to “assess” the police's capacity to deliver justice. Several of the advanced states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as some of the so-called Bimaru states such as Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are found to have ranked better than Gujarat.

People's pressure? GPCB mining cancellation 'notice' to top cement unit in Gujarat

By Sagar Rabari*
Environmental Clearance (EC) was given to Ultratech Cement Co Ltd for limestone mining in villages Talli and Bambhor of Talaja taluka in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat on January 5, 2017. EC was issued ignoring, overriding and undermining opposition from local farmers to mining activity in the area. The mining in these two villages covers an area of 193.3268 hectares (ha), while the entire project is spread over an area of 1,715.1311 ha.

NHRC notice to Gujarat chief secretary following silicosis deaths in Rajkot

By Our Representative
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Gujarat chief secretary and the district magistrate, Rajkot, to respond to a complaint filed by health rights activist Jagdish Patel of the People's Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, regarding the alleged death of Raju Prakash Parihar and two others reportedly because of silicosis, a fatal occupation disease, in Rajkot, one of Gujarat’s top cities.

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Bullet train acquisition: Land holding worth Rs 1.5 crore, Gujarat govt 'offer' Rs 8 lakh

By RK Misra*
Foundation stones laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi litter India’s cities, towns and villages, but there are few projects which he has pursued with such perseverance and tenacity as the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train one. However, the overwhelming state power notwithstanding, the farmers, whose lands are being acquired for the Modi government’s dream project, have no plans to give up the fight.

Concern in UK over BJP supporters, Hindu charity 'interfering' in general elections

By Our Representative
Following apprehensions of “foreign interference” in Canadian elections, which took place last month, from several countries, including India, a similar a concern is now reported with regard to the next month’s United Kingdom general elections. The concern has particularly come from Labour Party candidates, who are citing campaign by “India-linked Hindu nationalist group” targeting Labour candidates.