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Environment Minister urged to clear developmental projects at Deendayal Port


The Transport & Dock Workers Union, Kandla, has requested Mr Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, to clear developmental projects on priority. In a letter written to the Minister in this regard, the union submitted the following points related to developmental projects at Deendayal Port, with a request for kind consideration and necessary action, as per a release. 


Deendayal Port is the No. 1 Major Port in the country and has been maintaining the position for the last 10 years. 


The port has a vast hinterland encompassing North, Central and Western India and thus always remains the busiest port. The cost of handling is also less in comparison to other Major Ports with productivity and turnaround time being higher. It operates 24 x 7 x 365.


The port handles liquid cargo on a large scale. At present 6 oil jetties are available, with one IFFCO jetty and one IOC jetty also there, along with a complete pipeline network. 


As a result, oil storage facilities have been created by the port on a large scale. Several oil storage tanks have been constructed by private parties on land allotted by the Port Trust. It is, in fact, called the largest oil storage area in the whole of Asia. 


Given this infrastructure and the continuous increase in liquid cargo, the Port Trust has decided to add two more oil jetties to cater to more oil vessels, so that they can berth easily, cargo is not diverted to the nearby private ports, and the storage facilities created can be fully utilised. 


This decision was taken about 4 years back with the approval of the Shipping Ministry, to construct 2 more oil jetties from internal port funds. 


Accordingly, the proposal was sent to the Environment Ministry for approval about 3 to 4 years back and simultaneously tenders were invited and Letter of Intent was awarded to the lowest bidder for construction of the seventh oil jetty. But till date the work has not commenced as environment clearance has not been received. 


Likewise, the decision was taken to construct the 8th oil jetty, for which approval was taken from MoS, the tender process initiated and Letter of Intent given to the lowest bidder about a year back, subject to environment clearance. But, again, till date clearance has not been received due to which work cannot be started.


As a result, the waiting time for oil vessels has increased and traffic has been diverted to the nearby private ports. Parties who have constructed storage tanks have become restless as they find their investment being wasted. If this situation continues further, Deendayal Port will suffer as liquid cargo traffic will permanently divert to the new private ports.


Therefore, it is essential that construction work of both the 7th and 8th oil jetties starts at the earliest to overcome the difficult situation, for which environment clearance is required immediately. Unfortunately, it is not forthcoming despite the relentless efforts by the management of Deendayal Port Trust. 


Given this situation, the communiqué by the union has humbly requested that this matter be examined on priority basis and environment clearance be given as early as possible for the 7th and 8th oil jetties so that the port can cater to liquid cargo as per requirements.


The communiqué expressed the hope that the Minister will use his good office for this purpose, which is in the larger interest of the nation, said the release.

 

Source : Exim News Service - Gandhidham, Jan. 13

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