Paradip: The much awaited survey for the Rs 8,200 crore outer harbour project here has begun this month under the Centre’s Sagarmala initiative which was announced about two years ago.
The Union government announced the project in March 2015 to establish links between 12 major ports on 7,500 km-long coastline of the country.
With the completion of the harbour, Paradip Port would record unprecedented volume of business, expected the port authorities.
Paradip Port Trust (PPT) has roped in a private consultancy firm to conduct the survey including the measurement of depth of water and the status of soil underneath the water.
With the commissioning of this project, the port would be in a position to handle 325 million tonne of cargo per annum by 2025, PPT chairman Rinkesh Roy reiterated on several occasions.
On the other hand, the state government would remain 10 per cent stake holder in the project, officials said June 30, 2016.
At that time, the East Coast Railways also declared to lay a rail corridor at an investment of Rs 450 crore for the development of port-based industries.
Besides, it was aimed to set up a steel hub spreading across Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Angul, Talcher, Dhenkanal and Kalinganagar.
However, the snail’s pace of the project raises questions whether it would be completed before deadline.
According to reports, then Union government had announced the Setusamudram project in February 1997.
PPT authorities even released funds to the tune of Rs 30 crore towards its implementation. Other state-run companies also contributed for the completion of the project. However, the project was put in cold storage after NDA came to power in 2014.
Meanwhile, analysts are not sure about the fate of Sagarmala Project as the conditions at present are not that favourable.
Fall of price in the steel market coupled with slow economic activities across the globe will have an impact on the decision of entrepreneurs.
Besides, demonetisation of high value currency notes has also had its impact, experts said, drawing parallels with the Setusamudram project. PNN