Countrys largest container port JNPT said that it expects to get the environmental nod for the Rs 10,000 crore Vadhavan port project in three months.
Its chairman Anil Diggikar said a notification passed by the Dahanu Taluka Environmental Protection Authority does not allow any industrial activity to take place in the region.
However, the interpretation of JNPT, which is building the project as a satellite port along with the Maharashtra Maritime Board, is that port is not an industry and moreover, the port is entirely coming by reclamation in the sea.
Diggikar said the Maharashtra government, which is a 26 per cent equity partner in the port project off the coast of Palghar around 140 km north of the countrys financial capital, also supports this interpretation. “Very soon, we will see that we will get the clearance. Within three months,” he told reporters here. JNPT plans to make a detailed project report after getting the environmental nod and plans to start reclaiming the about 2,000 hectare area required for the project thereafter, he said.
It plans to start with works like breakwater construction from 2018 onward and is targeting for a 2022 commissioning of the first phase of Vadhavan, Diggikar said.
He acknowledged that an earlier plan for a port at the spot made in 1997 had the port on the coast and not in the Arabian Sea.
As it will be built in the sea and not dependent on any channel, the draft will be deepest in the country, he said, adding it will be an all weather and all cargo facility.
Diggikar said a preliminary meeting between the Union Shipping Ministry and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has already taken place.
Deputy chairman Neeraj Bansal said, “the whole spirit within the government is that the facilities which are necessary for the common good should be given the same kind of importance. If you look at Vadhavan, Ministry of Shipping and GoI are aligned with the thought process.”