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Devendra Fadnavis puts Karanja, Jaighad port projects on fast track

With the objective of improving connectivity within Maharashtra which in turn could boost the state’s gross domestic product, chief minister Devendra Phadnavis today set two port projects on a fast track mode as he laid the foundation stone for Karanja port and gave nod for signing of memorandum of understanding for the Jaighad Port Rail Connectivity.

“The Maharashtra government plans to keep a proactive approach and fast track projects within the state in order to make happen the ‘make in india’ vision the prime minister has set for the country,” Phadnavis said at the press conference held here today.

“The need of the hour is that we provide the necessary frame work to speed up projects in the state. And we are going to do that,” he said.

As part of the Karanja port project, a multipurpose terminal facility is being set up along 1,000 meter waterfront over 200 acres of inter-tidal zone, under concession agreement with the Maharashtra Maritime Board, said the Karanja Terminal &Logistics in a release. Mumbai-based Karanja Terminal & Logistics has investors from the US, UK with Nikhil Gandhi of SKIL Infrastructure Group as the chairman.

The facility will serve as a complement to the mumbai and jnpt and will contribute towards easing the cargo traffic congestion in the area apart from promoting industrial development in the region. Partial operations at Karanja project will commence within 12 months and the total construction is scheduled for completion within two years.

Located in the Raigad district, the scope of work for the project includes specialised defence logistics, critical oil&gas logistics support along with container and general cargo jetties among other associated facilities.

For the Rs 775-crore Jaighad port project a special pupose vehical is being formed between Konkan Railway Corp, Maharashtra Maritime Board and JSW Jaigad Port to lay a 33.7 km rail line to connect the port to the railway network.

The project will be funded in the debt:equity ratio of 70:30. Of the 30 percent equity investment, 63 percent will be chipped in by JSW Jaigad Port Ltd, 26 percent by Konkan Railway and upto 11 percent by the Maritime Board.

Sanctioned by ministry of railways, the traffic and bankability study has already been carried out for this project. The project has a 30-month timeline with a revenue projection of rs 114 crore. The traffic study for this project has been carried out by Pricewatercooper.

Of the total 33.7 km rail line, about 44 hectares comes under agri land, while 106 hectares comes under non-agri with balance under garden and general, the official from konkan railway while making a presentation to mr phadnavis.

Konkan Railway Corp also highlighted the poor hinterland connectivity of railways as one of the reasons for low port capacity in the state despite a very good coastline, even longer than Gujarat which has highest number of ports in the country today. “For all projects above Rs 1,000 crore there will be fast track special committee set up which will regularly monitor projects, said phadnavis.

JSW group chairman sajjan Jindal present at event suggested that if other ports within the state such Dighi are connected better , will improve infrastructure, generate employment and also contribute significantly in taking Maharashtra’s gdp higher.

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