Bhubaneswar: The Paradip Port, which has been declared as Smart Industrial Port City (SIPC) by the Centre, is set to emerge as a major industrial and logistic hub of eastern India.

The union shipping, road transport & highways, water resources and River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari, Thursday spell out the blue print for port led development in Paradip under Sagarmala.

At a meeting at New Delhi, chaired by Gadkari and attended by union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and Paradip Port chairman Rinkesh Roy, the development of the Paradip Port and the region was discussed.

Gadkari  said Paradip Port would need to rapidly improve its infrastructure facilities with cooperation from National Highway Authority of India, Rail Vikash Nigam, Airport Authority Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., and ministry of fertilizer and chemicals.

He stressed the need for 8-laning of NH 53 from Chandikhol to Paradip and further extension to Joda area, 4-laning of SH12 from Paradip to Cuttack, conversion to NH53A, construction of Gopalpur-Digha Coastal Highway via Paradip, early completion of Haridaspur-Pradip railwayline , 80MLD Tarpur-pipeline project. The union minister for petroleum,Dharmendra Pradahan, suggested for an airport at Paradip.

The Paradip Port Trust, which has joined the top three ports of the country in 2017-18 by handling over 100 million tonnes of cargo,  is implementing capacity expansion projects like New Coal Berth and Iron Ore Berth on BOT basis, mechanization of EQ-1,2,3 berths ofn BOT basis, development of multipurpose berth, expansion of Inner Harbour and development of Western Dock. Several other projects such as development of plastic park, wood park, food processing park, multi-modal logistics park, pellet plant, and NRL tanking facilities are also being taken up by the Paradip Port.

A PIB press release said that the 40 projects that were discussed at the meeting would entail a total expenditure of Rs 91,000 crore. While the investment in the 8 port-based industrial projects would Rs 55, 550 crore, the investments in the 7 port development and capacity expansion projects would be Rs 16,637 crore. The 9 port connectivity projuect would require about Rs 13, 690 crore. The 10 coastal area development project  would need Rs 4793 crore. Besides, a 400-beded hospital and a skill development centre would come up at Paradip.