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Reclamation finds place in Mamata's lexicon

Last updated on: February 11, 2011 10:43 IST

Reclamation finds place in Mamata's lexicon

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Shine Jacob Kolkata/Diamond Harbour

Acquisition may be the most hated word for Mamata Banerjee, but on Thursday the Railways minister added a new word to her dictionary, reclamation, which may well turn out to be her favourite.

The Trinamool Congress leader was all praise for the Rs 5,000-crore (Rs 50-billion) Sagar Port project by the Kolkata Port Trust, which will be the first project in the country to come up through the reclamation of riverbed.

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Image: Mamata Banerjee.
Photographs: Reuters
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Reclamation finds place in Mamata's lexicon

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"The project in Sagar Island is a model for the rest of the country.

"Here there will be no land acquisition issues, as the area required will be created through reclamation of river bed. Close to 3,000 acres will be artificially created through depositing dredged materials from other parts of Kolkata Port Trust area," she said during the foundation-stone laying ceremony of the dyke for reclamation of land at Sagar Island.

The TMC leader happened to spearhead the anti-land acquisition movements in Singur and Nandigram.

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Image: Kolkata Port.
Photographs: Reuters
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Reclamation finds place in Mamata's lexicon

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The first phase of the project will see an investment of Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion) while the second phase will see another Rs 2,000 crore.

"With the rail, road and water connectivity, the area which is close to Sunderbans will be buzzing with economic activities," she said and reiterated that there will be no forcible land acquisitions for any of the railways projects and those who have lost the land will be provided with jobs.

The Sagar facility may well turn out to be a solution for the perennial draft problems which is hindering the progress of Kolkata port.

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Reclamation finds place in Mamata's lexicon

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"Currently, we are troubled with draft problems in both the Kolkata and Haldia Dock Systems.

"In the last three years, the draft depth in Haldia was reduced to 6.5 metres. While in Sagar a natural draft of 11 metre is available, which can be increased to 14 metres through dredging.

"It will lead to the navigation of much larger ships in our area," said M L Meena, chairman , KoPT.

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Initially, the port facilities will be developed with 10 to 12 jetties for handling liquid bulk, dry bulk, break bulk cargo and containers.

The total capacity in the first phase would be about 60 million tonnes. Rail connectivity to the project site along with a rail-cum-road bridge on river Muriganga.

"RITES is conducting a feasibility study for this and result will be out by August this year," he said.


Image: Mamata Banerjee.
Photographs: Reuters
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