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West Bengal wants seaport

October 29, 2005 02:01 IST

The West Bengal government has requested the Union Surface Transport Ministry for carrying out a feasibility study for a seaport in the state.

The high level delegation led by the state Industry Minister Nirupam Sen that would visit China in November was also going to Shanghai for studying the sea port project of the corporate hub of China.

The delegation was likely to put forward a report to the Union Ministry on return to India.

The state Industry Secretary Sabyasachi Sen, who was also member of the delegation, informed that the team would visit Shanghai on November 9 to see the sea port project. He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the seminar on sharing success stories in the manufacturing sector in Bengal, organised by Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

"Shanghai is a riverine port and has the same problem of draft like us. So it is constructing a port on sea, which is 12 km away from the mainland. They are constructing a bridge, we can emulate the model here," he said.

According to Sen, the Union government is likely to float a global tender in November for appointing a consultant to carry out a feasibility study of a sea port.

Incidentally, Xica was mandated for the study, but later on declined. The state industry secretary indicated that besides Sagar island, it would shortlist another three-four islands for the sea port. A global consultant which would conduct the feasibility study was likely to carry out a cost benefit analysis for different locations.

Sen argued that high recurring cost of dredging of Haldia port had made it necessary to have a sea port.

"The yearly expenditure for dredging was around Rs 300 crore in Haldia. A one-time big investment for sea port will save this," he said.

Commenting on the Kulpi minor port project, Sen said that the consultant for the project Jacob Baptist had sought extension of time for submitting the detailed project reportĀ of Kulpi. The report would be submitted by March 2006.

Earlier, addressing the members of BCCI and other industry organisations, Sen stressed the need of laying emphasis on the manufacturing sector as he felt that it was not getting due attention compared to the service sector.

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