RTI’s response shows Maha can’t get any more dry ports

Plans to set up a multi-modal logistics park or an integrated container depot (dry port) at Ranjani in Sangli have been cancelled. This came from the response of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) to an RTI application from a Sangli activist.

The JNPA’s response said the Memorandum of Understanding on Ranjani Dry Port signed between the Port Authority and the Maharashtra government had been cancelled. Additionally, according to Union Treasury Department guidelines, no new dry ports can be established as Maharashtra’s requirements have been met.

Activists claim RTI’s response revealed that promises to set up dry ports in Sangli and Kolhapur districts were false and were only used to lure voters ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Activists said BJP MP Sangli Sanjaykaka Patil promised a dry port ahead of the 2019 election. However, that promise has yet to materialize, and there’s now a similar promise at another location. Dhairyasheel Mane, the Hatkanangale Sena MP, makes a similar promise. Three months ago Union Minister Nitin Gadkari proposed a proposal for a dry port in Hatkanangale. This angered the residents of Sangli, who are still waiting for their deputy’s promise to be fulfilled.

Satish Sakhalkar, an activist from Sangli, said: “I was present at the event where Gadkari made the pledge. I was stunned, because our deputy’s promise to us has not yet been fulfilled, and here the minister made similar proposals to the Kolhapur deputy. We have therefore decided to submit an RTI application. The answer debunks the claims of both MPs. According to Treasury Department rules, Maharashtra is in the red zone. This means that no new dry port can be approved as the state’s requirement has been met.”

Sangli MP contradicts allegation

Sangli MP Sanjaykaka Patil said the claims that the dry port is not taking place are not true. Patil said that due to some problems, the location was moved to Salgare Village in Miraj Tehsil of Sangli. “National Highway Logistics Management Limited is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) company dedicated to the implementation of dry port plans. We are in discussion with the State Department of Industry which has approved the land transfer. The village of Salgare covers 450 acres at a crucial point connecting the National Green Corridor Highway. The state government will immediately transfer 230 hectares. Work will begin in two months,” Patil said.

He added that the new dry port location is also connected to the southern Indian states and is therefore feasible for business.

I’m not sure about the dry port in Kolhapur district

Hatkanangale MP Dhairyasheel Mane was unavailable for comment. However, his close associates told TOI that the land transfer process was initiated by the Industry Department. The plot in the village of Majale-Tamdalge has been identified as the perfect location, but the final determination is still pending, the consultant said. The Majale-Tamdalge site is connected to ports via the Ratnagiri-Nagpur NH 166.

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