GANDHINAGAR: The 1600-km-long coastal highway approved in principle by the Centre for Gujarat will be an RCC road, said Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways.
Addressing journalists in Gandhinagar, Shri Mandaviya said that besides the coastal highway, the Centre has also given in principle approval for three Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) and several other road and port-related projects for the State.
Out of the 14 CEZs planned nationally, three will be located in Gujarat, the Minister said. "So far we have awarded work orders of around Rs 4,000 crore while a total of Rs 10,000 crore will be spent on the development of the coastal highway in Gujarat,'' Mandaviya said. Official sources said that the order for upgrading and construction of 463 km of coastal highway had been given while the 'detailed project report' (DPR) for 135 km of coastal highway is under preparation.
Mandaviya further said that under the Sagarmala project, three Coastal Economic Zones (CEZ) out of 14 to be created nationally have also been sanctioned for Gujarat. "A CEZ with the focus on petro-chemical industry will come up at Dahej," he said. "A marine sector CEZ will come up near Alang in Bhavnagar district while a furniture park-specific CEZ will come up in Kandla and Mundra as 70% of the wood imported for India passes through these ports," Mandaviya said. He also gave the information that the Central Government has also approved the development of Porbandar and Navlakhi Ports as Coastal Shipping hubs.
"The Gujarat Government is working on the Ro-Ro ferry service project aggressively and it is likely to be started soon," the Minister said.
"The service will shorten the time taken to travel between Surat and Saurashtra. Promoting sea-based transport to ease congestion on roads is a high priority,'' Mandaviya said.
Union Minister Shri Mansukh Mandaviya said that the Central Government is planning development of new logistics parks for cost-effective use of sea and road transport. A chain of logistics parks will be developed in the coming years, he said.