Looking to expand operations beyond its core business, the Paradip Port Trust has taken up a host of infrastructure projects to develop the Odisha port as a smart industrial city. With the schemes of the urban development, shipping and the railway ministries having been brought under a common umbrella, the trust has roped in the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) to market the ambitious plan.
BB Panigrahi, deputy chief engineer of the Paradip Port Trust, says given that Paradip has multi-modal access to both demand and supply centres, it is pushing an initiative to create an industrial park, a multi-modal logistics park, and a residential and commercial area within its limits. It would provide 6,285 acres at competitive rates for the purpose. The multi-modal logistics park would be built within the port area . Its facilities would include a bulk and break cargo terminal, container terminal, warehouses, sorting and grading zone, inter modal transfers and a cold chain.
The multi-modal logistics park is complementary to the port’s Rs 8,500-crore plan for increasing its capacity from the present 127 million tonnes (mt) to 212 mt by 2035. “The port will develop an outer harbour and twelve additional berths,” says Damodar Nayak, former manager traffic who is overseeing the port city’s infrastructure development. Paradip would be made cape size vessel-compliant and is estimated to handle 150 mt of additional cargo from Talcher, IB Valley and ECL mines.
For the industrial park, BCG has already approached 28 potential investors, with the Indian Oil Corporation agreeing to be the principal investor, having committed `52 000 crore to expand its refinery capacity from 15 mtpa to 20 mtpa as well as set up a petrochemical complex. Companies like Ultratech Cement, Deepak Fertilizer, the Chatterjee Group, JM Bakshi, among others, have also evinced interest in the project.
Regarding the social infrastructure, K Ramachandra Rao, chief engineer, Paradip Port Trust says, “under the Smart Industrial City proposal, we have planned best-in-class utilities for electricity, water, sewage, air-conditioning, security, labour support, health dispensaries, effluent treatment, hotels and restaurants, fire fighting, IT, and road and rail connectivity.”
Six-laning of the Paradip Chandikhole road (NH-5A) and development of NW-5 between Talcher and Paradip is underway. At the planning stage are a host of railway projects including the Jakharpura-Haridaspur third line, the Bhadrak-Nergundi third line, Budhapank-Salegaon via Rajatgarh third and fourth lines, Sukinda Road-Jakhapura third line, Rajatgarh-Barang double line, Sambalpur-Talcher double line and Titagarh-Sambalpur double line.
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The Paradip Port Trust and BCG are marketing their blueprint of a smart industrial port city through road shows. “The road shows organised so far have got a good response. The Paradip smart city is an attractive investment opportunity given its rich hinterland, competitive land prices, low regulatory risk, and affordable factors of production providing a gateway to eastern India and Asean markets,” Panigrahi says.