Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the second and third berths of the Gopalpur Port on Thursday.
With cargo handling capacity of 20 million MTPA and an investment of Rs 2,000 crore, the port would boost maritime trade and commerce and create employment opportunities for 8,000 youths in the State, said Patniak while addressing a gathering on the occasion.
Patnaik said, “The Gopalpur Port will be a strategic shift in cargo movement on the east coast of India. Development of this port will provide significant economic benefits to Ganjam district and create direct and indirect employment for over 6,500 people.”
“The port will play a crucial role in economic development of Odisha, especially the southern districts of the state,” added he.
ShapoorjiPallonji Port Managing Director AmitSaboo said, “The Gopalpur Port is expanding its capacity to 20-MT all-weather operations in this phase with an overall vision of 55MT by 2025. The Shapoorji Pallonji Group’s ports business will now operate on both sides of the Indian coast providing strategic logistical advantages to its customers.”
Notably, in 2017, the ShapoorjiPallonji Group became majority shareholder in the Gopalpur Port and undertook the Rs 2,000-crore expansion programme. The Gopalpur Port is strategically located between Paradip and Visakhapatnam Ports.
“The current expansion entails a total investment of Rs 2,000 crore and will contribute significantly towards the economic development of Odisha and Ganjam district in particular,” said Gopalpur Port CEO Captain Sandeep Agarwal.
During his visit to Ganjam district, Patnaik also laid foundation-stone for expansion of the Harbhangi irrigation project to be constructed at a cost of Rs 172 crore. The project would enable irrigation in 3,763 hectares of arable land in 32 villages. The CM also laid foundation-stone for 24 piped water supply projects in four blocks of the district.
Patnaik later visited Gajapati district to inaugurate and lay foundation-stones of projects worth Rs 631.24 crore. The projects include a mega piped water supply projects worth Rs 404 crore for Kasinagar, Gumma and Mohana blocks in the district.