A special purpose vehicle formed to modernise and renovate two non-functional docks of the Hooghly Dock and Port Engineers (HDPE) is expected to complete its job months ahead of the schedule, a top official said recently.
The shipbuilding and repairing is expected to resume by October 2020 from operative dry docks of the HDPEL instead of the scheduled target date of January 2021, HDPEL Chairman Balaji Arun Kumar told PTI.
This is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interest to rejuvenate the eastern part of the country, he said.
A special purpose vehicle - Hooghly Cochin Shipyard Ltd, a 24:76 per cent joint venture between the Cochin Shipyards Ltd. and the HDPE - had been set up for modernisation and renovation of the two dry docks.
“We are ahead of time. The SPV is expected to complete the renovation and modernisation in September-October 2020, ahead of the original schedule of January 2021,” the HDPE chairman said.
Cochin Shipyard Ltd. (CSL) had signed the concession agreement with the HDPE for taking over the old units at Nazirgunge and Salkia on the bank of river Hooghly in Howrah city on a 60-year lease and to make operational of the dry docks.
The CSL paid Rs. 22 crore initially and lined up Rs 160 crore in phases to turn these docks capable to manufacture and repair with the latest equipment and technology in these dry docks which were remaining non-functional for long.
CSL officials could not be reached for their comments.
In the first phase, the SPV is focusing on Nazirgunj dock in which production of wide-bodied low-draft energy efficient vessels and barges will be taken up.
The ambitious National Waterway-1 between Haldia and Allahabad augurs well for the fortune of the HDPE docks and boost investment in West Bengal’s shipping sector.
The central government’s ‘Jal Marg Vikas Project’ is developing the National Waterway-1 at an estimated cost of Rs. 4, 200 crore.
The Centre recently unveiled Rs. 102 lakh crore of infrastructure projects that will be implemented in the next five years and half of it will be invested in eastern states.
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