Kolkata, June 17 (IANS) Claiming the project cost will be “halved” to Rs 4,231 crore, the Mamata Banerjee government on Friday announced its intent to shift the proposed deep-draught port at Rasulpur in East Midnapore to nearby Tajpur.
Conceptualised during the erstwhile Left Front regime, the project ran into legal hurdles after the government cancelled the letter of intent issued to Amma Lines for the project, contending it was issued without competitive bidding.
The company subsequently had moved the Calcutta High Court challenging the cancellation.
Citing a feasibility report conducted by CRISIL, Finance, Commerce and Industries Minister Amit Mitra said the nearby Tajpur-Shankarpur area was far more suited for the project than Rasulpur.
“If the project is carried out in Rasulpur, a 93 km long channel needs to be created for the ships to come. Moreover, we will have to acquire 1,500 acres for the port. The entire project cost will be Rs 8,500 crore.
“On the other hand, the Tajpur-Shankarpur area will require the creation of only 18.5 km long channel for the ships to come and there is no need for acquiring land as the port will be built on reclaimed land. The project cost thus will be halved to Rs 4,231 crore,” Mitra said.
Mitra said the government will issue a request for proposal (RFP) soon after the feasibility report was cleared by the state cabinet.
“The state government will be spending just Rs 150 crore for building road and infrastructural linkages while the company winning the bid for the project will bear entire project cost.
“The report is being sent to the cabinet for the procedural formalities and once done, an RFP will be issued at the earliest,” said Mitra.
He said the project once completed, would boost the state’s cargo handling capacity.
“With a 12 metre draft, ships with 60,000 parcel carryign capacity will be able to enter the port. The port will have the capability of handling three-six times bigger ships than those handled by the Haldia Port,” added Mitra.