Proposed Vadhavan Port of national interest, people must not believe in propaganda, says JNPA chief

Proposed Vadhavan Port of national interest, people must not believe in propaganda, says JNPA chief

Palghar, Nov 9 (PTI) The proposed Vadhavan Port in Palghar district in Maharashtra estimated to cost more than Rs 75,000 crore will go a long way in changing the lives of people in the region, Jawaharalal Nehru Port Authority chairperson Sanjay Sethi said on Thursday.

The nationally important project, however, is being subjected to propaganda by some groups who are creating misunderstandings, Sethi said in a press conference here which was attended by Palghar collector Govind Bodke and Superintendent of Police Balasaheb Patil.

The Vadhavan Port is being developed by JNPT and Maharashtra Maritime Board and has received in-principle approval from the Centre on February 13, 2020, while the terms of reference (ToR) were approved on October 7 the same year, Sethi said.

After study of four years by experts to ensure it adheres to all environment laws, the port project was approved by Dahanu Taluka Environment Protection Authority (DTEPA) on July 31, 2023, he said.

'Vadhavan will be a major port under the Indian Ports Act. It is estimated to cost Rs 76,220 core. The investment proposal for implementation is under the consideration of the Union government,' he added.

He said the construction of the port will not have any impact on Tarapur Atomic Power Station, some 12 kilometres north, and all discussions have been held with authorities and experts connected to the vital installation.

'The Central Water and Energy Research Centre, Pune has carried out a mathematical quantitative study of the impact of the proposed port development on the sedimentation process at the Tarapur Nuclear Power Station. Estimates of potential oil spills from the developing Vadhavan Port and possible spillage towards Tarapur Nuclear Power Station have been assessed by INCOIS,' a note issued on the occasion said.

The port development has been given a no-objection certificate by the Ministry of Atomic Energy, it added.

The port construction would not render people of the region homeless as only limited land will be acquired with fair compensation, the JNPA chief said.

'Fishermen will be compensated. There is no danger to Shankodhar, a place of worship, as it is far away from the proposed construction site. Extensive studies and surveys have been conducted to collect information and to ensure fishermen are not let down. There is no proposal to set up an oil refinery as part of the port project. No one should believe such propaganda,' the official added.

Sethi and Bodke said the port will bring huge employment opportunities, including during the construction phase, as a dedicated 33.4 kilometre road from the national highway to the proposed port, a 12 kilometre rail line etc will need at least 50,000 workers.

'Vadhavan port has natural depth and proximity to inland clusters, and is located close to the upcoming dedicated freight corridors, which will reduce maintenance cost. The project will have sophisticated cargo handling systems with minimal environmental impact. The development of the port is of national interest,' Sethi said.

Meanwhile, a group of people opposed to the port project protested at the collectorate while the press conference was underway.

Heavy police presence ensured there was no untoward incident during the protest, in which participants shouted slogans against the government and the port plan, an official said. PTI COR BNM BNM

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