Coastal villages to observe bandh against Vadhavan Port today

Several coastal villages in Mumbai will observe a bandh today as a mark of protest against the Vadhavan Port project in Dahanu. The villages from Cuffe Parade and Dahanu will observe the bandh.

The bandh has been called by groups of fishermen and tribals, and they have also asked the villagers to participate in it.

While calling the bandh, the fishermen and tribals said the Vadhavan Port project would be “destructive for the fishermen, tribals, locals, sons of the soil, farmers, orchard owners and dye-makers” of the Dahanu village.

The villagers are demanding permanent closure of the project.

Vadhavan Port project

In February this year, the Central government had approved the setting up of the country’s 13th major port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra at a total cost of Rs 65,544 crore.

Currently, India has 12 major ports – Deendayal, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar, VO Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).

According to an official statement, the Vadhavan port has a natural draft of about 20 metres close to the shore, making it possible for it to handle bigger vessels.

Development of this port will enable cargo container vessels of 16,000-25,000 TEUs capacity, giving advantage of economies of scale and reducing logistics cost.

The demand for container traffic would further accelerate after the plans for improving logistic infrastructure fructify and the ‘Make in India’ push drives greater exports, said the statement.

‘Landlord model’ of the port

The Vadhavan port will be developed on ‘landlord model’ (where infrastructure is leased to private firms or industries and chemical plants). A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be formed, with the government planning to hold 51 per cent stake in the project.

The SPV will develop the port infrastructure including reclamation, construction of breakwater, besides establishing connectivity to the hinterland. All the business activities would be undertaken under the private-public partnership mode.