Top logistics companies across the nation believe that Bengal remains the top logistic option for them in the eastern part of India, no matter its inherent disadvantage of having riverine ports.
Speaking at the Logistics Conclave, organised by CII here on Friday, industry captains said that trading activity in this part of the country will grow more as Bengal is the country’s eastern gateway to international trade.
Many logistics organisations are keen to harness port services opportunity in the state. “The opportunities are huge here. The possibilities of growth are one of the best in comparison to the other places,” said Subrat Tripathy, Dhamra Port CEO.
Tripathi also said that Dhamra Port – located in Odisha’s Bhadrak district – is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and can provide an environment conducive for business. The port is poised to become the biggest and most efficient port in the eastern coast of India, Tripathy said.
Dhamra port sits about 100 nautical miles (100 M) south of Haldia port and about 50 M north of Paradip port and is protected by Kanika Sand Island, which acts as a natural breakwater and tranquil basin.
Its strategic location allows it to tap into a large hinterland, the most prominent of which is the Chota Nagpur plateau. The plateau is a storehouse of minerals like mica, bauxite, copper, limestone, iron ore and coal.
The Damodar valley, around the Bengal-Bihar border, is rich in coal and it is considered the prime centre of coking coal in the country. Massive coal deposits are found in the central basin, spreading over 2,883 sq km. Coal deposits are also spread over central parts of Odisha and northern Chhattisgarh. As a result, the new ports, which will come up in Bengal and Odisha, will be immensely benefitted.
Dhruv Kotak, Managing Director, JM Baxi and Co, India’s premier shipping services company, said with trade growing fast in the East, both Haldia and Kolkata port will see a surge in cargo handling. “We want Kolkata Port Trust to do some adjustments to shift some container cargo to Haldia as the same is getting saturated at Kolkata Docks,” he added.
Kotak also showed keenness to take part in the proposed deep sea port at Tajpur, saying that in terms of suitability and long-term profitability, Tajpur is a better candidate than Sagar port.
It may be recalled that the state government earlier expressed its desire to go alone for setting up Tajpur port. State Finance minister Amit Mitra earlier had clarified that the state government had no intension for a joint venture with the Centre to build the port.
The proposed Greenfield port will have an investment of around Rs 16,000 crore and over 10,000 job opportunities will be created.