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New Port on Sagar Island to be built with Japanese Collaboration

19th May, 2004

Sagar Island, one of the largest Sundarban islands, is all set to have the deepest port in eastern India, according to an Anandabazar Patrika article dated 14 March 2004. The following information has been gleaned from a Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) translation of the article.

Planned along the southern coast of Sagar Island, the port falls under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Port Trust. Funds have been made available under ex-Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s Rs. 1 lakh crore Sagarmala Project that aims to modernise the Indian maritime infrastructure along the east and west coasts.

The port will certainly need substantial expenditure on infrastructure. The Hugli channel at the port will be dredged to a depth of 125m from its current depth of 10m. A 4-kilometre bridge across the Muriganga River will connect the port to the mainland. This bridge might also be used to carry transmission lines from the mainland, since almost all power in Sagar is presently wind and solar generated. Another option is to power the port with diesel generators.

A low interest-rate loan by Japanese collaborators will fund 85% of the project. The port authorities have considered various options of repayment one of which is to distribute various berths to private builders on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis.

The feasibility report, to be prepared by the Overseas Coastal Area Development Institute, will be ready within the next 15 months. Construction will start once a global tender is awarded. The port authorities expect the dock complex to be partially functional by 2007.

The actual size of the port will be known after the feasibility report is published. However, its handling capacity will be large enough to easily process more goods than the Kolkata-Haldia docks, which handled 4 crore tons of goods in the 2003-04 financial year. Once completed, the Kolkata-Haldia-Sagar system is expected to attract large merchant ships that now go to Paradeep.



 

 

 

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