KOLKATA: The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) plans to monetise 112 acres of prime land in the city. Around Rs. 1,000 crore is expected from the deal.
According to MT Krishna Babu, Chairman, KoPT plans to lease out land parcels on a long-term basis (for around 90 years) at premium locations such as Alipore and mid-to-premium ones such as Chetla and Taratala in South and Southwestern parts of Kolkata.
“By monetising these land parcels for residential and commercial purposes, we expect to earn part of the money required for payment of pension,” Babu said recently. The processes to get clearance from the Centre have been initiated, sources said.
The KoPT, which runs both the Kolkata Dock System (KDS) and Haldia Dock Complex (HDC), have also approached the Union Shipping Ministry with a Rs.3,000-crore project aimed at improving the draft at Haldia.
The project, according to Babu, involves creation of a channel right through Nayachar island. The draft would then increase to around 9 metres; allowing movement of bigger cargo vessels. The current draft at the Haldia is 7.6 metres.
“Dredging costs are too high. Cutting a new channel through Nayachar looks like a viable solution for saving Haldia Port. We approached the Ministry with the proposal last year.
A final report is expected to be submitted by the end of this month,” the Chairman pointed out.
“KoPT is not in a financial position to do it alone. So we have to look at full government support,” Babu added.
Meanwhile, the KoPT witnessed a near 13 per cent increase in operating surplus to Rs. 631 crore for FY17; against Rs. 560 crore in Fy16.
During the period, cargo handled by KoPT remained more or less flat at 50.3 million tonnes (MT).