MH: JNPT Liquid Bulk Terminal Project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given green signal for the development of an additional liquid bulk terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Navi Mumbai. The estimated total cost would be Rs 2496 crore. The award would be on highest ‘Royalty’ basis. The project will be taken up for implementation under the private public partnership (PPP) mode on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis. The project is envisaged to be implemented in two phases with overall capacity as 26.6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). Phase I envisages construction of four berths to accommodate vessels size up to 180,000 Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) with a capacity of 15 MTPA. Phase II envisages construction of two additional berths for 180,000 DWT vessels with a capacity of 11.6 MTPA. The project would enhance the liquid bulk cargo handling capacity of JNPT from the existing 5.5 MTPA to 20.5 MTPA by 2017-18 when Phase-I is expected to be commissioned. Capacity would go up to 32.1 MTPA with the commissioning of Phase-II by 2025-26. This infrastructure will facilitate industrial growth in the hinterland and also reduce transaction cost for users who are suffering high waiting time in the existing berths. The project will also create, additional employment opportunities and lead to socio-economic development of the region. Private participation is expected to improve efficiency in handling of bulk liquid cargo through state-of-the-art technology and also by applying improved management...

SK: Rail link from West Bengal requires gram sabha approval under FRA

A train to Sikkim continues to be a distant possibility despite the fact that it has been a priority project for the Union government. The 52.7km rail link between Sevoke in West Bengal and Rangpo in Sikkim was supposed to be ready by December 2015, but is now stuck in a procedural tangle. The Rs.3,380-crore project will take up around 86 hectares of forest land, which needs clearance from the Union environment ministry. But prior to that, under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, the project needs to be cleared by local gram sabhas. However, in this case, the Kurseong and Kalimpong divisions of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council do not have panchayats. “The main problem is, India’s Constitution exempts Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council area from having a district panchayat. But as per the Forest Rights Act, 2006, permission from gram sabha is required for diversion of forest area. However, in the absence of a panchayat and a go-ahead from them, we have not been able to clear the project,” said an environment ministry official who did not wished to be named. Though the ministry’s forest advisory committee cleared the project in September 2014 subject to gram sabha approval, the ministry of tribal affairs has refused its approval. According to documents reviewed by Mint, the tribal affairs ministry stated that the Forest Rights Act, 2006, does not provide any exemptions in procedure when it comes to the gram sabha nod for diversion of forest...

KE: Land acquisition next hurdle for ring road to Vizhinjam port

Union minister for road, transport and highways Nitin Gadkari’s recent approval for the proposal of a NH ring road in the district has brought an end to worries that the Vizhinjam project could lead to traffic congestion. The NH wing of the state PWD had submitted a proposal for a Rs 1,500-crore project for widening the road which passes through Balaramapuram, Uchhakada, Mukkola, Vizhinjam Seaport Junction (Mulloor), Pulinkudi, Chappath, Pulluvila, Chavadi, Kanjiramkulam, Pazhayakada, Olathanni and Neyyatinkara. The Union minister, however, gave an in-principal approval for only Rs 1,200 crore, of which around Rs 400 crore will be used for construction alone. The current width of the road is just 12 metres and the carriageway available is 5.5 metres. The proposal is to widen the stretch to 45 metres. Around 200 acres of additional land will be required. “Now people get better compensation as land prices are fixed by the district-level purchase committee. So we hope there won’t be major hurdles for acquisition,” an NH official said. Development of Vizhinjam port is expected to bring huge containers into the district, making better connectivity a crucial factor for the successful functioning of the port. The development of the road connecting Vizhinjam seaport, NH bypass and Karamana-Kaliyikkavila would accelerate the state’s industrial and economic growth. The proposed road starts at Balaramapuram on national highway 47, connects Vizhinjam port and ends at Neyyatinkara on NH...

AP: Centre Ready to Fund Land Acquisition for Nellore Port

Dugarajapatnam Port in Nellore district appears to have hit a road block. Though it has been promised in the AP State Reorganisation Act, 2014, it is not clear when the Central government would redeem it. The main problem the Centre is facing with respect of the port is that necessary land has not yet acquired by the state government. “The port needs approximately 1,000 acres of land, but so far, nothing has happened on this front,” highly placed sources said. The state government has expressed its inability to fund land acquisition as it is hard up for money. This made the Centre come out with an offer of funding the land acquisition and asked the latter to begin the process but the state government has not come around to it. “The state government’s priorities are different. For us it may be important but for the state which is the agency for land acquisition, it does not appear to be on its priorities list,” a senior BJP leader said, adding that unless the state government acquires the land and hands it over to the Centre, we cannot do anything. Dugarajapatnam Port is a proposed seaport under the control of the Union government. It was estimated to cost `8,000 crore and it is proposed to be set up under Indian Companies Act 1956 with equity participation from the state government. When the project was envisaged during the erstwhile Congress regime in the state, it ran into rough whether with objections being raised as Pulicat Lake and ISRO’s rocket launching station at Srihari Kota are very close by. There was objection from...

TR: BJP threatens agitation on displacement of tribals

The Tripura unit of BJP today said it will resort to agitation against the state’s Left Front government if they tried to evict 12,000 tribals from the Longterai hill range to set up a firing range for the Assam Rifles. “The state government decided to evict the tribals in the name of setting up a firing range in the hills of Longterai in Dhalai district. We will launch an indefinite satyagraha movement if the government attempts to displace the tribals. Government documents in this regard are available to us,” BJP state president Sudhindra Dasgupta told reporters. Dasgupta said the tribals have been living in 32 hamlets there for more than 100 years and were given ‘patta’ (title deeds) and allotted forest lands under the Forest Rights...