Mumbai: The Rs 1,570-crore dredging project to increase the draft of the channel leading to two of the country's largest ports -- JNPT and Mumbai Port—will commence next month, a top official said on Friday.
The tender for the much-delayed dredging will be floated on January 10 and the entire project will be funded by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
"We expect that in January itself we would be able to award the first phase of the dredging project to increase the draft to 14 metres from the present 10 meters, entailing a cost of Rs 1,571 crore," Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), chairman L Radhakrishnan said.
The project will be completed in two years, he said in the presence of Union shipping minister GK Vasan.
JNPT, which handles 56.66 percent of the country's total container traffic, had earlier mooted the idea of raising money by issuing bonds, a proposal which was struck down by the finance ministry.
Meanwhile, a memorandum of understanding will be signed with the Singapore Port Authority on January 11 in New Delhi to build the Rs 4,060-crore phase one of the fourth terminal at the JNPT, Vasan said.
Radhakrishnan said the Rs 4,060-crore phase one of the project will involve constructing 1,000 metre berths and will take three years for completion.
In the second phase, Rs 2,640 crore will be invested to add another 1,000 metre berths and it will take two years to complete, he said.
Meanwhile, when asked about the delays in starting off projects under the Maritime Agenda 2020, which aims at adding capacities through 23 port-based projects, Vasan said up to 70 percent of the targeted number of projects will be launched before the end of this fiscal.
The overall outlay for this ambitious plan is pegged at over Rs 16,000 crore.
"We are trying to see that they are on time. Still I will agree that for certain projects, lot of clearances have to be obtained. We are going step by step and the ministry is seeing to that the project does not face too much of delays from other quarters," he said.
First Published: Friday, December 30, 2011, 21:28