To be privately developed by the Adani Ports Ltd, J K White Cement Company and others at an estimated cost of Rs 4,000 crore, the Detailed Project Report (DPR) has already been approved and a Letter of Intent (LoI) issued to the developers concerned by the Gujarat Maritime Board. Health and Tourism Minister Jay Narayan Vyas told the Assembly on Tuesday, that the government had in 1998, under its new port policy, decided to develop Dholera in the private sector. “The project will be put on the fast track after the hydraulic study and deep-sea soil investigation and bearing capacity assessment is over in the next six months or so,” he said.
Responding to a question tabled in the House by Bhagwanbhai Barad of the Congress, Vyas said the government had invited bids for the port project way back in 1996, and as many as seven firms had participated in that bid. The bid had been sanctioned in 1998, while the DPR was passed on August 26, 2000.
After that a proposal seeking an environmental clearance for the project had been sent to the Centre on January 16, 2002, which was cleared on April 18, 2006, he said.
The minister further informed the House that the port project could not be implemented in time due to the delay in getting the Central Government's nod for the environmental clearance. The reports on various studies relating to the project were ready, which included feasibility report for water supply, traffic study, geo-technical survey and hydraulic and mathematical study with navigational simulation.
Later outside the Assembly, Vyas told this paper that the Dholera Port, when fully developed, would be one of the best in Gujarat in view of its strategic location. The port project also assumes a great significance in view of a proposal to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on 1,000 hectares of land in its vicinity, and also an international airport proposed near Fedra village between Dholera and Ahmedabad.