Dhamra, Gopalpur ports emerging as large deep ports on east coast
Bhubaneswar: Dhamra and Gopalpur ports are emerging as large deep ports on the east coast. This was stated during a high level review meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra on the development of port facilities on the east coast.
Reviewing the progress made so far, Mohapatra directed the Bhadrak Collector to protect the land adjoining the ports for development of industrial hub and townships.
IDCO Chairman and Managing Director Sanjay Singh was asked to acquire the land and develop the sites for industrial use in the coming years. The Chief Secretary also gave a directive to demarcate the high tide line through ground level resurvey of the coastal regulation zone for protection of the ecosystem while planning for the development.
Dhamra Port was notified by East Coast Railway in 2011 as a “full rake handling point for both inward and outward traffic.” Dhamra Port Company Limited (DPCL) has developed three new berths taking the total berths to five. The DPCL has also constructed 62.5 km of rail connectivity from Dhamra to Bhadrak connecting the main Howrah-Chennai railway line, DPCL Chief Executive Officer Subrat Tripathy said. He said there has been manifold increase in cargo handling from Dhamra port in the last 11 years. The total export and import of cargo handling has increased from 5 MMT in the Financial Year (FY) 2011-12 to 29.71 MMT in 2019-20. This year, the port has already handled 29.37 MMT cargo by February 2021. The total cargo handling during the current Financial Year is expected to cross 30.5 MMT, sources said.
The Gopalpur Port on the east coast has resumed its operation from 2015 after necessary repairs and renovation. The port was severely affected by cyclone Hudhud in 2014. The Gopalpur Port CEO stated that the mechanisation of the berth would be completed by March 2021. Presently, Gopalpur Port has two operational railway sidings. Construction of a railway yard with four operational sidings has been expedited. This would cater to multiple rake handlings. Gopalpur Port is now running on operational profit with annual handling of around 5 MMT cargo.
The issues relating to widening of existing road connectivity, additional land required for port expansion, construction of airstrip at Dhamra, development of industrial park and economic corridor were taken up at the meeting. Official sources said these two ports are now providing daily employment to around 4,300 people in port operations apart from their regular employees.
The Chief Secretary directed the departments concerned and district administrations to take steps for facilitating rapid growth of the ports. The port authorities were also advised to mobilise port-based industrial houses for developing industrial clusters near the ports.