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After protests, MPT shelves Betul port plans

Panaji: Mormugao Port Trust has decided to temporarily shelve its plan to develop a satellite port at Betul due to protests against it by the locals and adverse financial implications. The decision was taken after discussions with the Union ministry of shipping and the state government.”We discussed with the state government and it was found that immediately development of a satellite port was not required. There were local concerns expressed and then based on preliminary studies and costing, we decided to invest where the rate of returns are better,” chairman of MPT I Jeyakumar told TOI.Now, the shipping ministry, under the integrated port development scheme, has decided to develop the satellite port at Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, officials said.
In June 2016, Union shipping minister Nitin Gadkari had announced that a satellite port would come up about 35km from MPT and it would be jointly developed with the Goa government. The Centre wanted around 150-200 acres to develop the satellite port at Betul but the move was objected to by the local population.The then government headed by Laxmikant Parsekar had informed the legislative assembly that it had not agreed to Gadkari’s plan to set up a satellite port of MPT along the Betul coast.Besides MPT, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Maharashtra Maritime Board are also working together to develop the new port at Vijaydurg, which is still in the planning stages.MPT, during the last fiscal, achieved 59% growth in cargo handling and posted an operational surplus of Rs 169 crore. [TOI]

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