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Wednesday, Feb 13, 2002

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Gujarat Positra inks deal for water project

Vinod Mathew


GUJARAT Positra Port Company Ltd (GPPCL), which is setting up the Rs 5,652-crore Special Economic Zone at Positra, has inked an agreement with Woest Alpine, Austria, for the execution of a Rs 700-crore water engineering and distribution project.

This compares with Rs 1,000 crore that has been earmarked for a component like power where a 261-MW generation capacity will be backed up with transmission and distribution facilities within the designated SEZ.

The Austrian company is to put up the project on a BOT (build-operate-transfer) basis while GPPCL would reserve the right to pick up 50 per cent equity. To be spun off as a separate entity called Positra Water Supply Company, it would entail a 400-km-long pipeline network criss-crossing the SEZ.

The company has set September as the zero date for commencement of the project and will have an implementation period of 30 months.

With potable water having been identified as the scarcest commodity in the drought-prone region, the entire development of the Positra SEZ is likely to hinge on the ready availability of water, especially as the SEZ is looking at a four lakh strong population in the first phase that is set at 2007.

The other crucial module of the SEZ, the international airport, had received the Indian Air Force clearance only a few months ago.

As per the terms of the agreement, Woest Alpine would provide drinking water on tap at less than five paise per litre.

There would be six distribution centres catering to the needs of the proposed town. The project would comprise desalination plants, water harvesting facilities and water recycling, the other component being on the infrastructure side - the intricate distribution network.

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