Odisha, a principal maritime state situated on the eastern coast of India, has a coastline of about 480 km extending from Bahuda Mouth in Ganjam District in the south to Bichitrapur (Talashari) in Balasore District in the north. It is endowed with conducive, unique, natural and strategic port locations. Every stretch of the coast is a variety of ecological niches and habitats. The coastline traverses six coastal districts of Odisha, viz. Balasore (80 km), Bhadrak (50 km), Kendrapara (68 km), Jagatsinghpur (67 km), Puri (155 km) and Ganjam (60 km). Paradip Port is the only Major Port in the State under the control of the Government of India, which is packed to accommodate increasing traffic.
The Government of Odisha has already identified 14 potential sites for the development of Non - Major Ports, out of which, Dhamra and Gopalpur are already functioning. To facilitate the private developers for the development of such Non – Major Ports, the State Government had framed the Port Policy during the year 2004. However, the Policy has run its course, and there is a need to formulate a new Maritime Development Policy to take into account the current circumstances.
Validity of the Policy
This Policy shall come into force with effect from the date of notification of Policy and shall remain in force for a period of five years or till the declaration of a new or revised Policy.
Ports and Port Connectivity
The policy showcases the steps required to develop a port in the state. It also defines the different incentives provided to the investors under this policy for the development of the port. The following steps are defined in detail in the policy for the development of port projects:
- Identification of Port Projects: Conception and Proposal
- Development and Operations
- Project Structuring
- Concession Period
- Licensing of Ports
- Logistics and Evacuation Systems
- Land Acquisition
- Private Participation in the development of ports and jetties
- The development of the connectivity infrastructure to the ports is mentioned in the policy in detail
Coastal Shipping and Inland Waterways
- The Policy mentions the adaptation of a hub and spoke model for handling the movement of coastal cargo in the state. It also mentions about the creation of dedicated infrastructure at the RO-PAX terminal to promote coastal shipping.
- The policy mentions the need of investments for systematic development of fairway, terminals and navigational aids.
Port Led Development and Creation of a Maritime Ecosystem
- Coastal Economic zones are important to enhance operational efficiency, self-sufficiency, and competitiveness. This provides a one-stop solution for the entire maritime ecosystem and the policy mentions the development strategy for such clusters.
- The policy mentions the development of an Integrated Maritime Coastal Regional Plans (MCRPs).
Promotion of Marine Tourism
- The policy talks about the development of a Coastal Master Plan which may include mapping of tourism development sites, concept mapping of coastal circuits, intervention for zone/beach cluster, and formation of Coastal Regulation Zone Guidelines.
- The policy talks about the development of Cruise tourism, Marinas, Multi-purpose Harbors. State Maritime Museum, Water Sports, Sea-plane Connectivity, and Research & Development.
Establishment of Ship Breaking and Recycling Industry
- The OMB shall promote industries that will offer world-class ship repair facilities for the ships calling at the ports of Odisha or any other suitable location, attract private investments in the Ship Recycling Facilities, generate employment opportunities in the sector, and boost the overall socio-economic development of the coastal region of the state of Odisha.
- The policy talks about various technological interventions that can be done streamline the functioning of the ports and advance the sector
Sustainable Maritime Development
- OMB is poised to become a maritime leader in India’s port development, privatisation and specialised cargo handling. To ensure the sustainable development of the ports and maritime sector in Odisha, the Board actively encourages a sustainable port development concept that enables the integration of environment-friendly methods of port activities, operations and management.