Mumbai Port Trust’s offshore container terminal project has already been hit by several delays and cost overruns, with the government working towards putting the incomplete project for rebid soon. Image source: MbPT website
Work on Mumbai Port Trust’s (MbPT) offshore container terminal project seems to be going nowhere with the government’s plans to develop recreational zones and public transport at the same spot of container yards now further delaying the project’s revival. “Victoria and Princess Docks were reclaimed to create container yards for this new container terminal, but the Mumbai offshore container terminal project is now in limbo. Moreover, the government has decided on having marina and other recreational facilities for Mumbaikars at the same spots of container yards. So, where is the space to stack containers if the project has to be revived” said an MbPT official.
Secondly, MbPT is also working on ‘Port Land Development’ project, which would have office complexes, residential areas, open spaces, and recreational zones, etc. With MbPT now planning to develop marina at Princess Docks, which it had reclaimed some years ago, the earth will now have to be dug up to restore Princess Docks and allow private yachts to berth inside the port. Towards the shore side of Princess Docks, domestic cruise terminal (for passenger cruises between Mumbai-Goa) and Ro-Pax terminal is being developed, thus leaving behind lesser space for a container yard.
For the last couple of years, MbPT has been utilising incomplete container terminal as Ro-Ro (Roll-on/roll-off) terminal to export vehicles from Mumbai.
The offshore container terminal project has already been hit by several delays and cost overruns, with the government working towards putting the incomplete project for rebid soon. However, the rebidding process has been punctuated by the shipping ministry. “The plan is under review by the ministry and unlike earlier it cannot be said when this project will be put up for rebidding,” an offical with Ministry of Shipping told DNA Money. A year ago, MbPT had finalised rebidding plans and escalated the same for a formal nod from the ministry, which was expected in a couple of months. But, with more than an year gone-by there aren’t any positive signs to take the project to its logical conclusion.
As per the revised bid document, which is stalled for now, there is a need to procure and install six cranes, dredging and other ancillary facilities. It also involves executing second phase of the terminal project. Incorporated in September 2007, Indira Container Terminal Private Ltd was formed in a joint venture with Dragados SPL of Spain to develop Mumbai Offshore Container Terminal on build-operate-transfer basis in the Mumbai harbour, apart from operating the station container terminal for 30 years.
(By Ateeq Shaikh, DNA Money)
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