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Cabinet Approves 76,200 Crore Vadhavan Port & Other Key Infrastructure Projects

The Union Cabinet has greenlit the development of a monumental infrastructure project: a Rs 76,200 crore all-weather greenfield deep-draft port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra. This ambitious initiative underscores the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s ongoing commitment to enhancing public investment in infrastructure. The port, on completion, will boast a cumulative capacity of 298 million metric tonnes per annum, catapulting it into the ranks of the world’s top 10 ports.

Vadhavan Port will be constructed by an SPV formed by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), with a 74:26 joint venture arrangement. The project will require substantial private investments and encompass extensive development of core infrastructure, including terminals and other commercial facilities, in public-private partnerships (PPP) mode. The comprehensive project cost includes land development and the creation of essential infrastructure to support terminal operations.

The port’s design includes nine container terminals, each extending 1,000 meters, alongside four multipurpose berths, liquid cargo berths, a Ro-Ro berth, and a Coast Guard berth. Additionally, the Cabinet has approved the enhancement of road connectivity between the port and national highways, as well as linkage to the existing rail network and the forthcoming Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor. According to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, “The port will alone have more capacity than all ports together in the country now.”

In a significant boost to renewable energy, the Cabinet has also sanctioned viability gap funding for Rs 7,453 crore offshore wind energy projects, including a notable project in Gujarat. This move aligns with India’s broader strategic goals of expanding its renewable energy footprint and reducing dependency on fossil fuels. 

Moreover, the Cabinet has approved a Rs 2,870 crore project for the expansion of Varanasi airport, which will enhance the airport’s capacity and improve its infrastructure to accommodate increasing passenger traffic. This expansion is part of a broader initiative to upgrade India’s aviation infrastructure and support the growing demand for air travel.

In another important decision, the Cabinet has approved increases in the minimum support prices (MSP) for 14 crops for the 2024-25 kharif season. The MSP for paddy, the principal summer crop, has been raised by 5.35% to Rs 2,300 per quintal. This increase aims to provide better income security to farmers and ensure the viability of agriculture amidst fluctuating market conditions.

These decisions collectively reflect the government’s strategic emphasis on bolstering infrastructure and supporting key economic sectors. The development of Vadhavan Port is particularly significant, given its potential to transform India’s maritime capabilities and drive economic growth. The port’s strategic location and advanced facilities will enhance trade efficiency, reduce logistics costs, and support the broader goal of making India a global maritime hub.

The approval of offshore wind energy projects underscores the government’s commitment to sustainable development and clean energy. By promoting renewable energy projects, India aims to reduce its carbon footprint and enhance energy security.

The expansion of Varanasi airport and the increase in MSP for key crops further highlight the government’s holistic approach to infrastructure development and economic support. These initiatives are expected to create jobs, boost economic activity, and improve the overall quality of life for citizens.

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