The Centre has dropped the plan to develop smart cities around major ports in Mumbai and Kolkata.
“The government has decided to develop smart cities around all major ports across the country, barring Kolkata and Mumbai,” Union Road, Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said at an event organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) here on Wednesday.
Last year, Mr. Gadkari said the government had planned to build one smart city each at 12 major ports at an estimated cost of Rs. 50,000 crore. The ports — Kandla, Mumbai, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Mormugao, Visakhapatnam, Cochin, Chennai, New Mangalore, Ennore, V.O. Chidambaranar, Paradip and Kolkata — have 264,000 acres of land around them. These ports handle 61 per cent of the cargo traffic.
“Each port will construct one smart city. We are trying to do this. Each city will be built on an expenditure of about Rs. 3,000-4,000 crore. These will be green smart cities,” the Minister had said in February last year.
This assumes significance as the Mumbai Port Trust has around 753 hectares of land, valued at Rs. 46,000 crore.
The government has planned to build wider roads, advanced townships and special economic zones, along with ship-breaking and ship-building centres, as part of smart port cities.
Source: The Hindu