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Shipping Minister Gadkari announces projects for Maharashtra and Gujarat

Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced projects for  Maharashtra including three new major ports, commencement of work on the Expressway between Mumbai and Vadodara and a Freight Corridor linking Indore with Manmad, all meant to increase connectivity to Ports in the West Coast.

He made the announcement at a pre budget meeting organized by a business daily on January 19 and it comes in the wake of concerns expressed by the shipping industry that ports in the west coast especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat are over worked while their counterparts in the East Coast are working fifty per cent of their capacity. The absence of rail connectivity from North India to east coast ports is attributed to poor performance of ports,

Among the six new ports under consideration of the ministry, one was earmarked for Maharashtra at Dahanu. The project was meant as a satellite port for the overworked JNPT.  Now the Minister has announced two more new major ports for the state. He however did not mention the location, where two ports will come up in Maharashtra.

The Minister who is also in charge of the highways said Work on the eight lane Expressway linking Mumbai with Vadodara in Gujarat will start next month. This will involve an investment of Rs 44,000 Crores.

A Rs six thousand Crore project between Indore and Manmad to provide hinterland connectivity to West Coast ports will soon be taken up by the Indian Port Railway Corporation.

He said Jawaharlal Nehru Port which has emerged as India’s biggest Container Gateway Port has allotted six plots to investors in its proposed Port based Special Economic Zone. This will involve an investment of Rs six thousand Crores and generate employment to forty thousand people.

The State owned companies of the Shipping Ministry including eleven major Ports are expected to earn a net surplus of Rs seven thousand Crores during the current financial year.

The Union Cabinet, he said is expected to clear a proposal to allow use of ethanol as fuel for vehicles to cut down the country’s huge annual crude oil import bill of Rs seven lakhs crores.


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