Kandla and Paradip, home to two major port trusts, are going to join the 'smart cities' bandwagon as the shipping ministry wants to kick-start development of smart cities around major ports with the two cities on the basis of the land banks of its ports. The government plans to develop port-led industry and townships along with green initiatives like wind and solar energy parks around the ports, a senior government official said.
"While the exact definition of smart cities is still being finalised, we will take up some of the developmental work in the land which falls under the port trusts," said the official, who did not wish to be identified. Major ports in India own 2.65 lakh acres of land, of which 2.2 lakh acres belongs to Kandla Port alone. However, about 1.98 lakh acres of this land is submerged and unusable. In January 2014, the government had approved policy guidelines for 265,000 acres of land belonging to the the 12 major ports, paving the way for monetising the plots. The policy was made applicable for all land except that relating to the township areas of Kandla, Mumbai and Kolkata Ports.
"We are yet to receive any directions from the shipping ministry but internally we have already started the process of getting a consultant for planning and execution of the smart cities project," said Ravi Parmar, chairman of the Kandla Port Trust.
Source: The Economic Times
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