Maharashtra Unveils New Port Policy

The Devendra Fadnavis government unveiled a comprehensive policy for development of the port sector in the state. The policy strengthens the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) which will be now become the sole authority for taking decisions on development of ports and give clearances to such projects. The state will also establish a Maharashtra Port Connectivity Corporation (MPCC) for providing rail connectivity to ports and for the development of ship-building `parks' and captive and multi-purpose jetties.
The state government has brought the new policy under its `Make in Maharashtra' initiative. The Maharashtra Maritime Board will create a development plan for areas under ports and also for allied industries. While the state will provide land to MMB at nominal rates, the latter will also have a land acquisition cell to buy private land. State government officials said the move to make MMB the nodal authority is aimed at cutting red tape as earlier such projects involved taking clearances from multiple authorities.
The policy entails creating more greenfield ports, jetties, coastal shipping and interways, shipyard, coastal economic zone.
Importantly, the state has acknowledged that earlier initiatives in the sector failed to get desired results and has laid precise conditions for private players to exit from projects.Interestingly, in a bid to ensure that the private developers follow the agreement with the MMB, the state has decided that henceforth MMB would appoint `independent engineer' to survey the work for the projects.
The Maharashtra Port Connectivity Corporation (MPCC), to be established on the lines of the Konkan Railway Corporation, will provide connectivity through roads, railways and other inland water transport.MPCC will float a special purpose vehicle for executing these projects.

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