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Union Cabinet Approves all-Weather Greenfield Port at Vadhavan, Maharashtra

New Delhi: In a landmark decision, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the establishment of a major port at Vadhavan, near Dahanu in Maharashtra. This ambitious project, to be constructed by Vadhavan Port Project Limited (VPPL)—a special purpose vehicle formed by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) with a shareholding of 74% and 26%, respectively—aims to create a world-class maritime terminal.

Project Overview

The Vadhavan Port will be developed as an all-weather Greenfield deep draft major port in Vadhavan, Palghar District, Maharashtra. The total project cost, including land acquisition, is estimated at Rs. 76,220 crore. The project encompasses the development of core infrastructure, terminals, and other commercial infrastructure through public-private partnerships (PPP).

Infrastructure and Connectivity

The port will feature nine container terminals, each 1000 meters long, four multipurpose berths including a coastal berth, four liquid cargo berths, a Ro-Ro berth, and a Coast Guard berth. It involves reclaiming 1,448 hectares of sea area and constructing 10.14 km of offshore breakwater and container/cargo storage areas. Upon completion, the port will have a cumulative capacity of 298 million metric tons (MMT) per annum, including around 23.2 million TEUs (Twenty-foot equivalents) of container handling capacity.

To ensure seamless connectivity, the project includes road links to National Highways by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and rail linkages to the existing rail network and the upcoming Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor by the Ministry of Railways.

Economic Impact and Employment

The Vadhavan Port is expected to significantly boost the EXIM trade flow through the India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) and the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC). It aims to promote public-private partnerships, leveraging efficiencies and modern technologies to handle mainline mega vessels on international shipping routes between the Far East, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.

Aligned with the objectives of the PM Gati Shakti program, the project will stimulate economic activity and create approximately 12 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities, significantly contributing to the local economy.

Statements and Vision

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, highlighted the transformative potential of the project. “This is a tremendous achievement for Indian ports and a testament to the efforts taken by the Narendra Modi Government to modernize, mechanize, and make them technologically savvy to improve performance and enhance efficiency,” said Sonowal.

He added, “Thanks to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, we have been able to work on improving the efficiency of our ports through path-breaking initiatives like Sagarmala. This has helped us build resilience, incorporate new technology, and green infrastructure to ensure the stability of global markets and sustainability of India’s maritime industry.”

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