‘No point in having a port in city’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘No point in having a port in city’

State Ports Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil told Hindustan Times that port land could be better utilised to increase housing supply in the city as well as to develop public facilities, such as parks.

mumbai Updated: Jul 22, 2010 01:34 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

State Ports Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil told Hindustan Times that port land could be better utilised to increase housing supply in the city as well as to develop public facilities, such as parks.

Your letter to the Union Shipping Ministry suggests that the port be shifted out of Mumbai.

Yes. Little purpose is served by having a port within the city now. When Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) was built, the idea was to shift port operations there, especially the container operations. Now, an additional container terminal is being built in Mumbai port. This will only cause more congestion.

What will happen to the land under Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) jurisdiction?

It’s time the port is thrown open for development of the city. It can solve a lot of Mumbai’s space problems and decongest it. The land can be used for real estate, waterfronts, tourism and a marina.

How should MbPT do this?

Either it should merge with JNPT or it should identify alternative sites or, as suggested in my letter, work with the state government to forge strategic partnerships with ports that we are developing on a public-private partnership model.

The port is tied in with the identity of Mumbai. What happens if the port goes?

Some operations, such as passenger terminals, can stay. They can be used for inland transport. With JNPT at Navi Mumbai, which is very much a part of Mumbai now, there is no question of the city losing its port character. These are the changes we have seen in developing cities around the world.