PM to Lay Foundation for Rs 4,000 Crore SEZ at JNPT

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for the Rs 4,000-crore port-based multi-product special economic zone at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust at Sheva, Navi Mumbai, on August 16.

"The proposed industrial infrastructure in 277 hectares with a total public and private investment of Rs 4,000 crore is planned as a self-sustainable integrated development project having a potential of generating 1.5 lakh direct and indirect jobs," an official statement said today.

The ambitious SEZ, to be developed through JNPT-SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) under the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode, will be completed in three years.

With focus on the collaborating upcoming sectors of India, the SEZ will develop a 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, the statement said.

Modi will also lay the foundation stone for a Port Connectivity Highway Project at the JNPT and also allot land to JNPT project affected persons (PAPs) under the 12.5 per cent scheme.

The statement said the projects have been expedited by Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping & Rural Development, Nitin Gadkari in the last two months.

The port connectivity highway project with a cost is Rs 1,926.57 crore will be completed by December, 2017.

The Ministry of Shipping has decided to execute this project on EPC mode through SPV. The project has been undertaken under the National Highway Development & Port Connectivity Programme of the Union government.

The statement said 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 flyovers, railway over bridges and interchanges for uninterrupted flow of traffic on the road network connecting the Port and the National Highways.

Accordingly, it has been proposed to develop the road network to 6/8 lane configuration with service roads. The NH-4B, Amra Marg & SH-54 was 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 per cent scheme to Project Affected Persons (PAPs) of JNPT has been a long-pending issue.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (formerly NhavaSheva Port Trust) was commissioned on May 26, 1989 and 1172 hectares were acquired through Government of Maharashtra from 12 villages for port construction and on resistance it was promised that 12.5 per cent of the developed land would be given to them.

This has resulted in a number of agitations in the past. Resolution of the dispute was essential for smooth operation and future development of JNPT.

The land owners, whose lands were acquired for JNPT, agitated seeking allotment of land under the 12.5 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent scheme, the statement said.

Based on the decisions taken, a proposal for Cabinet approval was moved by the Ministry of Shipping to transfer 12.5 per cent of the 1172 hectares of land to Government of Maharashtra to distribute to the JNPT PAPs.

The statement said though 12.5 per cent of 1172 hectares worked out to 146.5 hectares, 35.5 hectares have already been given to 4 villages under the Gaothan Extension Scheme of Maharashtra Government by JNPT.

"Hence, it was proposed to transfer the remaining 111 hectares (146.5 hectares minus 35.5 hectares) which was in accordance with the decisions taken at the meeting on March 22, 2011," it said.

Earlier the Cabinet had approved the transfer of 111 hectares of JNPT land to Government of Maharashtra for allotment to PAPs 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 finalised in consultation with CIDCO/Government of Maharashtra).

Accordingly, Ministry of Shipping accorded approval to the proposal of JNPT to provide Rs 212.34 crores.

The statement said JNPT based on Cabinet decision had initiated action for allotment of 111 hectares of land but the Chief Minister of Maharashtra had requested for 160 hectares and Shipping Ministry has recently "forwarded a proposal for seeking approval of the Cabinet for sanctioning additional land of 47.20 hectares ...."

The statement said the issue 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."

Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, state Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan, Union Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Anant Geete among others are are expected to attend the function.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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