The Government of Maharashtra is exploring two new greenfield deepwater ports in the Konkan region

The Government of Maharashtra is considering the development of two new deep-water greenfield ports in the Konkan region. Greenfield projects are created from scratch and are not constrained by previous work. They do not require reconstruction or demolition of existing structures.

Through its maritime organization, the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), the state government would initiate a study to identify coastal areas near Vijaydurg and Ganeshgule, two sleepy seaside towns in Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts, respectively.

Advantages of the deep-water greenfield port

The greenfield deep-water port is intended to facilitate and promote the economic growth and development of these two regions with logistics facilities and freight rail connections. The state also wants to create employment opportunities in sectors other than agriculture and fisheries.

Sources said the proposed port will have modern cargo-handling facilities, including container terminals, warehouses and other necessary infrastructure.

For the time being, a consultant will be appointed to study feasibility and other details. “The consultant will shortlist a few sites and determine the technical feasibility, financial feasibility, project implementation model, revenue model and financial assessment,” the source said.

The study will also determine what type of cargo or goods can be exported and imported from each of the ports, what their annual volume will be, possible threats to the projects and their mitigation measures. In addition, the road and rail links needed to facilitate the flow of trade would also be analyzed and proposed.

Current Status of Ports in Maharashtra

Currently, the 720 km long state coast has two major ports – Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port. There are 48 smaller ports like Dighi, Dabhol, Tarapur, Dahanu, Belapur, Trombay, Kelshi, Bankot, Revdanda, Ratnagiri, Jaigad to name a few.

The in-depth investigation will take at least six months and the report may be available by the end of 2023. The decision would be made based on the recommendations made.

In the past, new projects proposed in the Konkan region have met with both political and local opposition. for example the Nanar Oil Refinery and the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant.

North of Mumbai, another major port project planned in Vadhavan near Dahanu by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority is also encountering local opposition.

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