Yet another example of proactive stance of bureaucrats and politicians from Bengal in favor of industrialization is the way in which the proposed deep-sea port off the coast is gradually taking shape.
If news’ in the papers are to be believed, there has been at initial stages considerable opposition to the project at the center. From the nature of opposition it was apparent that vested interest has been at play at the center to nip the possibility of the port in the bud.
But now it seems the deep-sea port project is set to begin. It is still in initial planning stage, and selection of place is yet to be final. Recently, the state’s chief secretary and Kolkata Port Trust’s (KoPT) chairman discussed the issue with secretary in shipping ministry at the center.
KoPT wants the project site at ‘Kanika Sand’ in Bay of Bengal where deep draft of about 23 meters is available all through the year, which will permit the largest ocean-going vessels to berth.
If and when the deep-sea port does come up, it’ll be at least a decade later from now. By that time the whole of eastern region with Kolkata as a hub can be expected to become an industrial hotbed.
The port, when connected with high-speed railway freight corridor, will not only cater to Bengal, but also to all the adjoining states, and even neighboring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and also part of China, the latter through the now-building trade route at Sikkim’s Nathu-La.
It is entirely possible that the deep-sea port off Bengal coast will eclipse other ports on India’s eastern side. Which may be the reason why there has been opposition at the center for the project.