Odisha govt. nod to set up maritime board
A proposal for establishment of the Odisha Maritime Board for administration, control and management of non-major ports and non-nationalised inland waterways was approved by the State Cabinet here on Friday. The Cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, decided that the Board will function as a single window facilitator for the overall maritime development of the State. Earlier a Bill was passed in 2011 for constitution of the Board but was withdrawn because some more issues were to be added, according to official sources. Odisha is endowed with a vast coastline of 480 km, having rich, unique and natural port locations and perennial rivers.
14 non-major ports
Out of the 14 sites identified for development of 14 non-major ports, two at Gopalpur and Dhamra are operational and two at Astarang and Subarnarekha are in the pipeline. According to the proposal, the Board will provide policy, guidelines and directions for the integrated development of ports and inland water transport keeping in view of the country’s security and defence related concerns. The salient features of the Board will be to provide construction, maintenance and operation of all non-major ports in the State directly or through PPP mode. The Board will be constituted with 12 members, the Chief Secretary as the chairperson along with representatives of stakeholders departments as well as representatives of the Central government. Among other proposals, the Cabinet also gave its approval for financial restructuring of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation by which old dues of the Corporation and the State government will be settled forever.