Raigad (Maharashtra), Feb 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone of the Rs 16,000-crore Navi Mumbai International Airport and inaugurated the country’s largest container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, constructed at a cost of Rs 4,719 crore here.
He performed the ground-breaking ceremony and the inauguration electronically in the presence of Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Ramdas Athawale and state ministers.
The Navi Mumbai International Airport will be the second international aviation hub for the financial capital, presently served by the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport that has almost reached saturation point.
The new airport will be constructed by GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd (GVKPIL) as per a concession agreement signed on January 8, with the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the nodal authority of Maharashtra to oversee the project implementation.
The agreement has created a special purpose vehicle – Navi Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd (NMIAL), in which the GVKPIL, through its subsidiary, Mumbai International Pvt Ltd, holds 74 percent equity, while the rest is held by CIDCO.
The initial concession period is 30 years, from the appointed date, which is extendable by another 10 years, for the project in which GVKPIL was declared the successful bidder in February 2017.
The NMIAL, a greenfield airport, will be constructed in the PPP mode on 1,160 hectares on the mainland in Navi Mumbai, across the Mumbai harbour, with the advantage of the upcoming Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, a Special Economic Zone and other major infrastructure developments coming up.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust’s Fourth Container Terminal (FCT)’s Phase I in this Maharashtra district has been completed in a record time at a cost of Rs 4,719 crore and is expected to boost container trade and logistics in a big way.
In October 2015, Modi had laid the foundation stone for this terminal which will double JNPT’s current container handling capacity.
The FCT will add capacity of 24 lakh containers per annum in the first phase and after completion of the second phase in 2022, the capacity will be quadrupled to a whopping 100 lakh containers per year.
Gadkari said the FCT was developed on Design, Build, Fund, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis for a concession period of 30 years with an estimated investment of Rs 7,915 crore for both the phases.
The terminal will be able to dock mother vessels, handle the biggest container ships from a quay length of one km, handle three container ships simultaneously with sufficient yard space, and cranes which can reach 22 rows wide or more.
The FCT will be linked to the dedicated road access and a rail freight corridor and will receive around 350 containers per rake besides provision for storing 1,600 refrigerated (reefer) containers for perishables, agriculture and horticulture produce.
The commencement of operations at FCT will offer immense opportunities for the EXIM community so that trade flourishes.
The rail facilities will be the largest in India with the only on-dock Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) compliant facility in the country, capable of handling 1.5-km long, 360 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) container trains on completion of the DFC, said Gadkari.