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‘Jawaharlal Nehru Port expansion to begin by April 2025, create 10 lakh jobs in next 10 years’

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority Chairperson Unmesh Wagh

Posted on May 8, 2024

Stating that the future of Maharashtra will be in Palghar, chairperson of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) Unmesh Wagh said the expansion of the port will begin by April 2025 and will be completed by 2029 and that once the expansion is complete, a million direct and indirect jobs will be created in the next 10 years.

With the construction of the port at Nhava Sheva in 1989, areas such as Panvel and Navi Mumbai, developed rapidly. Wagh said around 10 lakh jobs will likely be created in the service sector, including about 5 lakh jobs during the construction phase. He added that although its being projected that conceptualising the expansion of the port and its construction will take 10 years, efforts will be made to complete the project at the earliest.

Wagh said the expansion project of the JNPA is in its final stages and with increased efficiency, the current capacity of about 6.5 million containers (twenty-feet equivalent unit) is likely to reach 10 million TEU.

“Given the country’s industrial development and rise in exports and imports, it is necessary to build a port at Vadhavan from a future point of view,” said Wagh adding that the proposed port at Vadhavan has been approved by the environment department and but the approval could not be taken from the cabinet as the Model Code of Conduct came into effect with the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections. Until the Cabinet approves it, the approval of the Public Investment Board (PIB) cannot be secured.

Explaining the importance of the proposed port at Vadhavan, Wagh said the depth at JNPA is 15 metres and it can only dock ships with a capacity of 17,000 container TEU. However, Vadhavan has a natural depth of 18 to 20 metres and it will be possible to dock more than 24,000 container ships at the port, thus ending India’s dependence on Singapore, Colombo, and other international ports.

Wagh further added that after elections, the skill training work for the locals of Palghar and Dahanu will be undertaken and once the Centre gives its approval for port at Vadhavan, they will start the construction of a hospital and trauma care centre here. “As compared to Nhava Sheva, there is 43% more space available at Vadhavan. We will make effective use of the space,” said Wagh.

The JNPA chairperson also said that in the next five years, non-diesel vehicles will be phased in JNPA. A parking lot has been constructed on the premises of JNPA and drivers here are being provided free healthcare and food at cheap rates. Also, high-quality educational facilities and development plans are being implemented by the social responsibility department in the villages in the area. Schemes for the protection of the environment and green cover have also been proposed.

“With the JNPA experience and the inclusion of artificial intelligence, attempts will be made to develop the Vadhavan port effectively,” said Wagh.

Construction of integrated food storage facility

Wagh said JNPA has planned to set up an integrated processing and storage facility for agricultural commodities on 25 acres. A proposal of the project has been sent to the Centre for approval and the firm, which is awarded the work, will be allotted space at a nominal rate for a tenure of 30 years. The estimated cost of the project will be Rs 300 crore.

Stating that this will be the first-of-its kind project in the country that will help reduce the wastage of perishable goods, Wagh said once the integrated processing and storage facility is in place, it will help store foods such as mango, grapes, pomegranate, banana, and other products such as fish, mutton, etc.

Wagh said the tender for the construction of this facility will be floated soon and the construction will begin in one-and-ahalf years and will be carried out in phases.

Independent water supply

The expansion of JNPA and the proposed staff colony at the premises will initially require two million litres of water per day, which may eventually go up to six million litres. Wagh said a new system will be designed to store the waste water generated in the existing irrigation projects or discharged into the sea. The cost of this independent water supply system will be borne by JNPA.


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