Work on the first phase to commence in a few months
The State Government has put the ambitious port project at Tadadi, on the outskirts of Honnavar in Uttara Kannada district, on fast track and expects the work to commence in a few months.
Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation Limited (KSIIDC), which is implementing the project, has drawn up plans to expedite the work.
The new port is expected to cater to cargo traffic from places located between Goa and Mangalore.
KSIIDC Chairman K. Diwakara told The Hindu on Wednesday that work on the first phase, on which Rs. 3,000 crore would be spent, would commence in a few months.
This would be the first greenfield port in the State and also the first to be developed on the public-private partnership (PPP) model, he said. The project would need at least 2,000 acres of land, of which 1,000 acres had been identified.
The port would come up at the Aghanashini estuary.
He said the port would be developed on the Mumbai port model wherein fishermen would not be displaced.
The old Tadadi port is located 50 km from Karwar. The nearest railhead is Ankola, about 25 km away. At present there is only a lighthouse, an RCC jetty and a transit shed at the port. KSIIDC sources said a team of officials led by its Chairman had visited Tadadi twice and decided to put the project on fast track.
The sources said the port could be used for transporting iron ore from Bellary and surrounding areas.
Approvals to be sought
Mr. Diwakara said the KSIIDC would write to the Union Government seeking approval under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) for implementing the project. The corporation has also initiated steps to obtain approval from statutory bodies such as the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.
The sources said Karnataka had a coastline of 300 km and the old Tadadi port was one of the 10 minor ports in the State. The other minor ports are Belikere, Honnavar, Bhatkal, Kundapur, Hangarkatta, Malpe, Padubidari, Karwar and old Mangalore. The State also has a major port — New Mangalore.