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

Economist-editor's allegations on Narmada defamatory, baseless: Medha Patkar

Counterview Desk  In a reply directly addressed to well-known economist, journalist and columnist Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar’s two articles in the Times of India (republished here and here ), calling them defamatory and wondering whether they were borne out of “ignorance or a conspiracy through political alliance”, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Pakar has said that the Narmada Sardar Saravar Project and the people's movement by adivasis, farmers, labourers, fish workers, potters and all the generations’ old communities from the river valley have suddenly come to be focused on, since the Gujarat elections are in the doorstep. She believes that while the “defamatory accusations with baseless conceptions such as ‘urban naxals’ are to be laughed at as the electoral strategic moves, one gets shocked to read the articles by a known old columnist like Swaminathan Ankalesaria Aiyar, published in a reputed daily like the Times of India." According to her, Aiyar’s two articl

Hindutva groups threat to peace, freedom: US diaspora groups tell FBI, other govt depts

By Our Representative  The Islamophobic and neo-Nazi ideology of Hindutva is a clear and present danger to peace and freedoms in the United States, a coalition of civil rights organizations told key officials of the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at a recent event in Edison, New Jersey. At the event titled United Against Hate, activists from American Muslims for Democracy (AMD), Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR) and Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) made detailed presentations on this ideology of Hindu supremacism that is committing mass persecution of India’s Muslims and Christians and is rearing its ugly head in New Jersey as well as across the US. Attending the event were David S Leonardis, Special Investigator from the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety; Michael E Campion, Chief of the Civil Rights Division for the US Attorney General's Office; and Jonathan R Norbut of the U.S. Dep

Facing tough times, Rajasthan's Raika herders hold first-ever camel cheese festival

By Rosamma Thomas*  During the pandemic, the annual Pushkar camel fair in Rajasthan did not occur for fear of contagion; in 2022, it was called off again as lumpy skin disease affected cattle. At Sadri in Pali district, however, festivity continues – a two-day Camel Cheese Festival was held on November 23 and 24, 2022. Visitors spent time with the camel herds and their Raika, drank camel-milk tea with the herders and then returned to lunch at the Kumbhalgarh Camel Dairy, from where the Kumbhalgarh Fort is visible, to taste camel cheese. The Raika herders have been facing a tough time – camels are no longer used as much for transport or agriculture in Rajasthan. The animals have limited utility, but their milk is prized. Camel Charisma, the dairy at Kumbhalgarh, sends camel milk across the country to people who use it in therapy – for autistic children, improved blood sugar levels, or even to treat cancer. It is believed that the health benefits of the camel milk is because the animals

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

As polls approach, electorate 'failing to realise': Gujarat model is in a shambles

By DN Rath*  Gujarat assembly elections, scheduled to be held on 1 and 5 December 2022, is viewed by many as dress rehearsal for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. When the suffering people have been pointing towards redressal of some local issues like absence of cleanliness, sewage problem, shortage of water supply, troubles created by stray cattle, insufficiency of streetlights, etc., it is evident that they are not fully aware that assembly elections are being fought on ideological standpoints and policy decisions. Nor is there the realisation that the state is in a shambles and the much-trumpeted ‘Gujarat model’ of development has proved to be a hoax. Like other states, the people of Gujarat are also back-broken by steep rise in prices to the tune of 400% in last 20 years. It is not that the government cannot control the spurt in prices if it so wants. Apart from the fact that price rise is an inevitability in a capitalist economy, artificial shortage triggered by massive hoarding, b

Shedding Hindu-Hindi-Hindustan? New Modi-Shah love for Tamil Nadu 'ignores' Periyar

By Sandeep Pandey*   The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) or the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) have long argued for ‘Hindu-Hindi-Hindustan’, which into recent years has translated into a crisper English expression: ‘One Nation-One Religion-One Language’. Given this backdrop, it is curious that the BJP government has organised the Kashi Tamil Sangamam in Varanasi, the Prime Minister’s constituency. Why did the BJP and RSS feel the need for such an event? All Narendra Modi events are highly publicised and have multiple political objectives. It is never an innocuous religious/cultural event as it may appear from the face of it. Afterall, RSS calls itself a cultural organisation, but has never ceased to surprise us with its political designs. Tamil Nadu has a long history of opposing imposition of Hindi by Union governments. Periyar EV Ramasamy had opposed the idea of compulsory teaching in Hindi as far back as in 1937. The 1960s witnessed violent protests against Hindi in which a number

Amit Shah accused of inciting communal passion: Demand to postpone Gujarat polls

Counterview Desk  In an email representation to the Election Commission of India (ECI), Dr EAS Sarma, former secretary to the Government of India, has objected to the statement reported to have been made by Union home minister Amit Shah, who allegedly justified the 2002 Gujarat riots stating that certain sections of people “taught a lesson” to the rioters. Noting that the statement, if correct, “in effect implies those other than the law enforcement authorities had taken law into their hands”, Sarma says, “Shah's statement needs to be viewed by the ECI in conjunction with the reported fact that it was the Union Home Ministry that cleared the release of the eleven rape convicts in the Bilkis Bano case, directly related to the infamous Godhra incidents in 2002, which triggered the shameful sequence of events that shook the nation's conscience.” According to Sarma, if the statement is true, “I am constrained to draw the inevitable inference that it would have already impacted th

BJP poll gimmick? Bilkis Bano rape case 'pardon' vs Rajiv assassins' release

By Sandeep Pandey*  Supreme Court has released six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. This was bound to happen as earlier AG Perarivalan was released in the same case, setting a precedent. Even though four of them are Sri Lankans but a popular Tamil sentiment favoured the release of these convicts which is why Tamil political parties supported this and resolutions were passed by different governments in Tamil Nadu to his effect.  Rajiv Gandhi paid the price of sending Indian Peace Keeping Force to Sri Lanka where it got entangled with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and eventually the whole operation ended up is a fiasco.  However, most importantly Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi and probably Rahul too do not have any objections to the release of these convicts. In fact, Sonia Gandhi played an important role in getting the death sentence of the only lady among the convicts Nalini commuted to life term through the Tamil Nadu Governor. Priyanka visited Nalini in Vellore Jail and

Diminishing returns: Hydro projects contribute less than 10% of India's power generation

Counterview Desk  Pointing out that India’s hydro generation remains around 10% for the last six years, the advocacy group South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has said that power generation from hydropower projects continues to show diminishing returns, as has been the story close to three decades now. Yet, says SANDRP in a note, the Government of India continues to push large hydro by announcing a slew of additional subsidies for hydropower projects, more for political economy reason. In fact, attempts are being made to flog unviable hydropower projects with various kind of manipulations, illegalities and violations, it adds. Text : In last six years, from 2016-17 to 2021-22, India’s large hydropower projects (projects above 25 MW installed capacity) have contributed just around 10% of the total power generation, going as low as 9.68% in 2017-18. In fact, in three of these six years, large hydro contributed less than 10% and recovering only marginally in the rest,

Odisha survey reveals 56% children have not attended any classes post-pandemic

By Our Representative   The Learning Recovery Programme (LRP) has been taken up by the state government's Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) to provide a learning opportunity to students to make up for losses in studies due to the closure of schools on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, lack of awareness among children and their parents and absence of robust monitoring have blocked its effective implementation, reveals a pilot fact-finding study conducted by the NGO Atmashakti Trust. The pilot study was conducted with school-going children in two blocks of the Nuapada district, where over 500 grassroots workers divided into 33 groups visited 68 schools in one day and interviewed 115 children to understand the implementation of LRP. The study was a part of its 26-day nationwide campaign, "Education Cannot Wait. Act Now!" which kickstarted on November 15, comprising Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, where