Jamshedpur, Nov. 26: Jharkhand, which currently depends on the ports of Bengal and Odisha, may also use Gujarat’s facilities to ship cargo.
The offer was made by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to Arjun Munda during the latter’s recent visit to the election-bound state.
“Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi gave us permission to use their ports for shipment of raw materials. I have thanked him for the gesture. Ports are linked to development. Gujarat has benefited immensely from it and so are our neighbouring states like Odisha and Bengal. The government will take a decision on the matter soon,” Munda told reporters at Sonari aerodrome in Jamshedpur today.
The chief minister, who addressed an election rally in Modi land yesterday, was headed to Seraikela-Kharsawan district.
Apparently impressed with the port facilities that aided development in Gujarat, Munda is now planning to revive the inland port project on Subernarekha river basin, which has been on the backburner since 2006. The state had even held talks on the project with Odisha. “We are going to take up the matter on a priority basis and will have discussions with Odisha government for a network of ports between the two states,” said Munda.
He also hinted that there were proposals waiting. “We are a land-locked state and such a port will provide us an outlet for export cargo. Subernarekha runs through Jharkhand, Odisha and Bengal before entering Bay of Bengal in Balasore (Odisha),” he said.
A source said the proposal for developing an inland port had come from Chennai-based Creative Infrastructure. “According to the proposal, an inland port will be developed near Galudih barrage in East Singhbhum, which will be connected with Dhamra port in Odisha’s Bhadrak district,” the source said.
He added that the estimated cost of the project is around Rs 1,000 crore and the state government hoped to make a profit of Rs 2,000 crore per annum in export given the presence of many steel and coal companies.