State-run Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), India’s busiest container gateway near Mumbai, is planning to build a satellite port in one of the three locations that had already been identified--Vijaydurg, Revas-Karanja and Dahanu.
According to sources, though JNPT has finally zeroed in on Dahanu, it is willing to take a second look at Vijaydurg as well, just in case the environment lobby in Dahanu becomes too shrill for comfort.
The new port will require around 1,000 hectares. Since there will be no displacement of existing people, as no existing land will need to be acquired, the costs of any mitigation will be limited. The central government is set to grant the new port all the clearances that it might require.
This will be the first 20-metre draft port in Maharashtra. Mazgaon Dock, close to Bombay Port, has a draft of barely a few metres.
JNPT itself had a draft of just 12 metres, but opted to go in for dredging to increase its depth to 14 metres for a channel length of 33 km. That involved a cost of Rs 1,600 crore.
At both Vijaydurg and Dahanu, there is natural draught of 20 metres to receive bigger ships. A feasibility study for a satellite port has been completed internally, says port chairman N.N. Kumar.
At present, there is only one big port in Maharashtra—JNPT—despite the fact that there is large industrial growth taking place in the state, Kumar said without disclosing the project’s time frame.