Dhamra Ports may take Kolkata Port to court

Written by Dilip Bisoi | Bhubaneswar | Updated: Feb 5 2011, 05:43am hrs
The Dhamra Ports Corporation (DPCL), a joint venture between Tata Steel and L&T, is planning to go to court challenging the Kolkata Port Trust (KOPT) notification extending its port limit up to Orissa coast.

We would challenge the notification in the court if the Orissa government does not move court on this issue, DPCL chief executive officer, Santosh Mohapatra, told FE.

The KoPT port limit has been extended up to the Mahanadi mouth close to the water front of Paradip Port.

We hope the shipping ministry will resolve the issue in 10 days as assured by GK Vasan to the Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Mohapatra said.

As access to Dhamra and Paradip ports will be through the waters of KoPT. There is every possibility of KoPT levying a fee at at some point of time, he pointed out.

Dhamra port is expected to launch commercial operations by March 31.

We are just waiting for clearances from the Railway Board and signing of agreements to make the railway line operational, Mohapatra said.

The KoPT, through a notification in November 2010, has extended its port limit covering 28,642 sq.km area of Bay of Bengal penetrating about 200 km down south up to Dhamra port. The notification kicked off a controversy with the Orissa government protesting that the port limit extension would kill at least seven potential port sites in the state and also affect the Dhamra port.