Kolkata: The Union government has dropped the plan to develop smart city around major ports in Mumbai and Kolkata.
“The government has taken a decision to develop smart cities around all the major ports across the country barring Kolkata and Mumbai,” Union Road, Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said at an event organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) here on Wednesday.
Last year, Mr. Gadkari had said that the government had planned to build one smart city each at country’s 12 major ports at an estimated cost of Rs 50,000 crore.
The 12 major ports – Kandla, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Mormugao, Visakhapatnam, Cochin, Chennai, New Mangalore, Ennore, V.O. Chidambaranar, Paradip and Kolkata – have around 264,000 acres of land around them. These major ports handle around 61 per cent of the cargo traffic.
“Each port will construct one smart city. We are trying to do this. Each city will be built with an expenditure of aboutRs.3,000-4,000 crore. These will be green smart cities,” the Minister had said in February last year.
This assumes significance as Mumbai Port Trust has around 753 hectares of land, valued at Rs 46,000 crore.
The government has planned to build wider roads, advanced townships and special economic zones, along with ship-breaking and ship-building centres, as a part of smart port cities.