The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) land development will involve an investment of Rs 5,000 crore to create iconic structures like Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and other tourist attractions, Union Shipping & Ports Minister Nitin Gadkari today said.
“We want to create such a place in MbPT which will be looked up to by the world,” Gadkari said at the Lokmat Infra Conclave here.
According to Gadkari, the plan has been routed through the state chief minister and will now be taken to Parliament.
Work will start once the approval comes by, he said, adding that total investment will be worked out after going through the recommendations of the Rani Jadhav committee and suggestions from citizens.
Gadkari said further MbPT has approached the Centre for recognition as a planning authority that will make it easier to execute work.
Mumbai Port Trust Chairman Sanjay Bhatia later explained that the Rs 5,000-crore figure mentioned by the minister is for total ‘infrastructure development’ and some part of it may come from private parties.
The port trust will be developing 500 hectares of its 1,800-hectare land holding as part of the ambitious project. Of this, 150 hectares have been identified to be developed first, he said.
A tender has been floated to hire international consultants for a masterplan.
Bhatia said a bulk of the investment in the initial phase will be done by the government which may go up to Rs 1,000 crore. This will be for constructing a central government offices (CGO) complex, a marina, walkway, an eco park, entertainment hub, and skating rink, among other things.
The port will also be raising resources by selling off some of its large land parcels.
The idea, according to Gadkari, is to have magnificent structures like Burj Khalifa of Dubai or the Singapore waterfront which will give the financial capital its rightful place on the world map.
Apart from the land development plan, the port trust is also concentrating on improving amenities for hosting cruise ships and investing Rs 150 crore for a terminal, which is to be built over the next two years, Bhatia said.
One of the oldest ports in the country, it is not waiting for the passenger terminal to be ready and will start hosting ships from this season onwards, Bhatia said, adding that 59 such passenger liners will be calling on the city soon.
The first such ship will arrive in late October and the port is reviving the ‘Ballard Estate Festival’ idea every weekend coinciding with the docking of the first ship, which will have 4,000 passengers.
Unlike the earlier experience, the port is discontinuing entry tickets for the festival, Bhatia let out, adding that it will be held every weekend.
The port trust is also constructing two jetties on the sea on the city’s much-visited western waterfront, off the iconic Marine Drive.
These jetties, to be constructed over the next eight months to a year, will be used for adventure sports and developing floating hotels.
The port is completely revamping the Sasoon Dock in Colaba, under which fish peeling will be shifted indoors, Bhatia said, claiming that it will be a modern fish market.