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Challenges before Paradip port

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“Willed by the people, I commend to you this yet another national adventure,” wrote Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister, while laying the foundation stone for the Paradip port project on January 3, 1962. Orissa's only major port, as it enters the 50 {+t} {+h} year, fondly remembers the stalwarts whose pioneering effort had helped a major port come up in a place virtually unknown to the outside world. The operation of Paradip port started in 1965 with one berth and one cargo, iron ore, and the throughput in the first year was 67,000 tonnes. Today, the port has 14 cargo handling berths and one oil jetty handling 57 million tonnes. There are proposals for constructing more berths. The year-long golden jubilee celebration was kicked off by the Orissa Chief Minister, Mr Naveen Patnaik, on January 3. “There will be some programme or the other every month for the next one year,” said Mr Biplav Kumar, the Deputy Chairman. But the celebrations are taking place at a time when the port is set to face competition from private ports coming up on the Orissa coast, and the work on its new berths could not be started as environment clearances have not come through.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 10, 2011)
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