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Centre clears IAF hurdle for Subarnarekha Port project




 The hurdles for establishment of Subarnarekha Port have been cleared with the Union Government giving green signal for the ambitious project in Northern Odisha.

The Air Force authorities were earlier not providing requisite clearances for setting up of the Port as they claimed to have their “Practice Limit Zone” in the area.

As the proposed Port area fell in the IAF notified Air to Air Range area, the no objection certificate (NOC) from Air Force was essential, said sources.

According to sources, Union Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra held a high level meeting with the Chief Secretary AP Padhi recently at New Delhi and favored the setting up of the Port proposed on the mouth of River Subarnarekha.

Vice Chief of Air Staff (VCAS) was also present in the meeting, the sources said adding Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary Commerce & Transport Sanjay Rastogi and Special Secretary Commerce & Transport Manoj Kumar Mishra were also present at the meeting.

Padhi urged the senior IAF and Union Government officials to have a holistic view on the project and find out a possible solution so as to facilitate all activities of Air Force and Port co-exist.

Mitra urged Air Force authorities to explore possible solutions for development of Port in North Odisha coexist with IAF activities.

Sources said with the consent from Air Force authorities, the hurdles to start the constructions have been removed and the IAF authorities will soon notify the State Government in this regard.

Notably, Creative Port Development Private Limited (CPDPL) is setting up the Port and recently, Tata Steel has executed the Share Purchase Agreement to acquire 51 Percent stake of CPDPL.

CPDPL had signed a Concession Agreement (CA) with the Government of Odisha to develop the Subarnarekha Port on January 11 in 2008.

Tata Steel also executed a Shareholder Agreement with CPDPL and its promoters for development of Subarnarekha Port through Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Subarnarekha Port Private Limited (SPPL). The shareholders agreement will take effect on closing of the share purchase agreement, said sources.

While Tata Steel made this move to optimize in-bound and out-bound supply chain for its steel plants, opposition from the Air Force authorities turned out as a stumbling block on setting up of the Rs.2,345 crore  Project.

This cost is likely to go up as the new promoter will prepare a fresh Detailed Project Report (DPR), sources said.

It was proposed to have at least 12 Berths in this Port in different phases and the earlier promoter was making endeavor in this direction with an initial capacity of 10 Million Ton Per annum (MTPA), which was to be scaled up to 40 MTPA in 10 years.






Editorial

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From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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