Port Wings News Bureau:
The Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi will lay the foundation of a Port- Based Multi-product Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Sheva, Navi Mumbai on Saturday, August 16, 2014.
According to a media statement, the infrastructure project is to be established on 277 hectares with a total Public and Private investment of about Rs 4,000 Crore. Besides, the project, being planned as a Self-Sustainable Integrated Development Project, has a potential of generating over 1.5 lakh direct and indirect jobs.
The ambitious SEZ to be developed through JNPT-SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) under the Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) mode is scheduled to be completed within three years.
With a focus on the upcoming sectors of India, the SEZ will develop Free Trade Warehousing Zone, Engineering Goods Sector, Electronics and Hardware Sectors, Non- Conventional Energy Sector, Multi Services (IT and Healthcare) Sectors and Apparel and Textiles Sectors.
Mr Modi, who is to arrive in Mumbai on a day’s visit to Maharashtra, is also scheduled to lay the foundation of a Port Connectivity Highway Project at the JNPT and also allot land to the JNPT Project Affected Persons (PAPs) under the 12.5% scheme of Maharastra government implemented by the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharastra Ltd.
Various projects have been expedited by the Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping & Rural Development, Mr Nitin Gadkari over the last two months. These projects in Mumbai are to be inaugurated as part of these measures.
The Port Connectivity Highway Project with a Cost of about Rs.1927 Crores is to be completed by December 2017. The Ministry of Shipping has decided to execute this Project on (Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) mode through the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).
The project has been undertaken under the National Highway Development & Port Connectivity Programme of the union government.
Due to rapid development in the area on account of development of JN Port, JNPT-SEZ, and the proposed International Airport, etc. it was felt necessary to augment the carrying capacity of the existing road network to 6/8 lane configuration by providing improved facilities comprising of flyovers, railway over bridges, interchanges etc for uninterrupted flow of traffic plying on the road network connecting the Port and the National Highways.
Accordingly, it is now proposed to develop this road network to 6/8 lane configuration with service roads. The NH-4B, Amra Marg & SH-54 were earlier developed to a four-lane facility by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) through the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) comprising of NHAI, JNPT & CIDCO.
Allotment of land under 12.5% scheme to Project Affected Persons (PAPs) of JNPT has also been a long pending issue. Resolution of the dispute was essential for smooth operation and future development of JNPT.
The land owners, whose lands were acquired for JNPT, have been agitating for land allotment under the 12.5% scheme as decided by the Government of Maharashtra in respect of land acquired by CIDCO for the Navi Mumbai Project.
A decision was taken to grant the benefit of 12.5% land allotment scheme on humanitarian grounds to the JNPT PAPs, though legally as per the Supreme Court order the Port was not liable to implement 12.5% scheme.
Based on the decisions taken, a proposal was moved for approval of the Cabinet by the Ministry of Shipping to transfer 12.5% of the 1172 hectares of land to Government of Maharashtra to distribute it to the JNPT PAPs. Though 12.5% of 1172 hectare worked out to 146.5 hectares, 35.5 hectares have already been given to four villages under the Gaothan Extension Scheme of Maharashtra Government by JNPT. Hence, it was proposed to transfer the remaining 111 hectare (146.5 hectares – 35.5 hectares) which was in accordance with the decisions taken at the meeting on 22.3.2011.
The Union Cabinet approved the transfer of 111 hectares of JNPT land to Government of Maharashtra for allotment to PAPs of JNPT in line with the Government of Maharashtra’s scheme for PAPs of Navi Mumbai of CIDCO.
The Cabinet also allowed JNPT to provide CIDCO the cost of development of minimum amenities to be finalized in consultation with CIDCO/Government of Maharashtra. Accordingly, Ministry of Shipping accorded approval to the proposal of JNPT to provide Rs.212.34 crores for development of basic amenities which was worked out in consultation with CIDCO.
Based on the approval of the Union Cabinet, JNPT initiated action to hand over 111 hectares of land to the Government of Maharashtra for distribution to the PAPs.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Maharashtra wrote a D.O. letter dated 6.11.2013 to the then Minister of Shipping with a recommendation to consider allotment of total land of 160 hectares instead of 111 hectares allotted as per the Cabinet decision for distribution among the PAPs (12.5% of 1172 hectares private land) for implementation of the 12.5% land scheme and for allotting 40 SQM land to each of the landless labourers in the project affected villages).
It was also submitted by the PAP Sangharsha Samiti as well as by the officials Government of Maharashtra that while computing the land requirements for distribution under 12.5% scheme, the aforesaid 35.5 hectares should have been deducted from the total private land acquired by the Port i.e. 1172 hectares. It was submitted that PAPs are entitled for 12.5% of total land of 1136.5 hectares after such deduction which comes to 142.06 hectares and not 111 hectares as sanctioned by the Ministry of Shipping.
The Ministry of Shipping has recently forwarded a proposal for seeking approval of the Cabinet for sanctioning additional land of 47.20 ha which falls under CRZ-I in addition to 111 ha of land as already approved by the Union Cabinet.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (formerly NhavaSheva Port Trust) was commissioned on 26th May, 1989. For the construction of the Port, land to the extent of 1172 hectares was acquired through Government of Maharashtra from 12 villages of the UranTaluka, Dist. Raigad, Maharashtra, in the 1980s.
It was done as part of the land acquisition for the Navi Mumbai Project. During the acquisition of land, there was strong resistance from the land owners. However, after a lot of discussions, assurances and promises, the task was completed successfully.
One of the assurances given to the land owners of the Navi Mumbai Project (from which JNPT was given land) at the time of acquisition of the land was that they would be given back developed land to the extent of 12.5% of the land acquired from each of them. This issue of compensating the erstwhile landowners of JNPT warrants a permanent solution, so that the functioning of the Port which handles about half of India’s international trade goes on smoothly and unhindered.
The Maharashtra Governor Mr K. Sankaranarayanan, the State Chief Minister Mr Prithviraj Chauhan, the Union Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Mr Anant Geete, the minister of state for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Mr Krishan Pal, the Union Minister of State for Coal & Power Mr Piyush Goyal, members of parliament & senior politicians from the State are expected to attend the function .