Vadhavan Port of ₹76,220 crore, Approved by Indian Government

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The Indian government has recently approved the construction of a major new Vadhavan port in the Dahanu taluka of the Palghar district in Maharashtra. The approval was given by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 19, 2024. This development is aligned with the PM Gatishakti programme, aimed at enhancing infrastructure across the country.

Vadhavan Port

Cabinet green signals a greenfield major port at Vadhavan, Maharashtra

Project Details

Developer of the Vadhavan Port

Vadhavan Port, set to be India’s largest deep draft port, will be constructed by Vadhavan Port Project Limited (VPPL). The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) are partners in this special purpose vehicle (SPV), with JNPA owning a 74% share and the MMB holding the remaining MMB holding 26%.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA): Operates the Nhava Sheva port in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Greenfield Project: A new port built from scratch with no existing infrastructure.
  • Deep Draft Port: Capable of handling large cargo ships.

Vadhavan Port: Cost of the project

The total cost of the port project is estimated at ₹76,220 crore. This includes expenses for land acquisition, core infrastructure development, terminals, and commercial infrastructure. The project is going to be carried out through a public-private partnership (PPP).

Features of the Vadhavan Port

The Vadhavan Port will involve significant land reclamation and construction:

  • Land Reclamation: 1,448 hectares of land will be reclaimed from the sea.
  • Infrastructure: 10.14 km of offshore breakwater and extensive container/cargo storage areas.
  • Terminals: Nine container terminals, each 1,000 meters long.
  • Berths: Four multipurpose berths, including coastal, liquid cargo, Ro-Ro, and a berth for the Coast Guard.
  • Capacity: The port will handle 298 million metric tons (MMT) of cargo annually, including 23.2 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalents) of container handling capacity.

Significance of the Vadhavan Port

The Vadhavan Port, strategically located on India’s west coast, is expected to be a modern facility that will significantly boost foreign trade. Key benefits include:

  • Economic Corridors: Enhanced trade via the proposed India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) and the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC).
  • Global Shipping Routes: Access to international shipping lines connecting the Far East, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.
  • Employment: The project is anticipated to create direct and indirect employment opportunities for approximately 1.2 million people.
  • Global Ranking: The government aims to position Vadhavan Port among the top 10 major ports in the world.

Challenges and Opposition

Despite its potential benefits, the Vadhavan Port project faces significant opposition:

  • Local Livelihoods: Fishermen and farmers are concerned that the port’s construction will adversely affect their livelihoods.
  • Environmental Impact: Environmentalists argue that the project will harm the ecologically fragile Dahanu area, which could lead to long-term ecological damage.

The government’s approval of the Vadhavan Port marks a significant step towards enhancing India’s maritime infrastructure and boosting economic growth. However, addressing the concerns of local communities and environmentalists will be crucial for the project’s successful implementation.

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