Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

The Union Cabinet has given its ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up a Major Port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra.

The total cost of the project is likely to be Rs 65,544.54 crore.

Vadhavan port will be developed on “landlord model”. ASpecial Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) as the lead partner with equity participation equal to or more than 50% to implement 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 PPP mode by private developers.

The position of JN Port, the biggest container port in India is 28th in the world with a traffic of 5.1 million TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units). Even after the completion of the 4th terminal at JN Port with a capacity increase upto 10 million TEUs by 2023, it will stand as the 17thlargest container port in the world. With the development of Vadhavan port, India will break into the countries with the top 10 container ports in the world.

Maharashtra has India’s largest container port at JNPT which caters to the hinterland of Maharashtra, North Karnataka, Telangana and secondary hinterland of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, NCR, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. There is a need for a deep draft port that will accommodate the largest Container Ships in the world and also cater to the spillover traffic from JNPT port once its planned capacity of 10 million TEUs is fully utilized. JNPT and Mundra, the two largest container handling ports of the country (for mid-size container ships only), have drafts of 15 M and 16 M respectively, while the world’s largest container-handling modern deep draft ports require a draft of 18M-20M. The Vadhavan port has a natural draft of about 20 meters close to the shore, making it possible for it to handle bigger vessels at the port. Development of Vadhavan port will enable call of container vessels of 16,000-25,000 TEUs capacity, giving advantages of economies of scale & reducing logistics cost.

The ever increasing size of container ships makes it imperative that a deep-draft container port on West Coast of India is developed. Increasing containerization of cargo in the wake of the value-added manufacturing sector makes it important to prepare our port infrastructure for handling value-added import and export to facilitate manufacturing activity. Container traffic in the JNPT hinterland is expected to grow from 4.5 MTEUs currently to 10.1 MTEUs by 2022-25 when JNPT’s potential will be fully exhausted. The demand for container traffic will further accelerate after the plans for improving logistic infrastructure fructify and the ‘Make in India’ push drives greater exports and manufacture sourcing to India.


Cabinet

[Press Release dt. 05-02-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The bench of Dr. AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, JJ set aside certain provisions of Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016 imposing restrictions on the licensing and functioning of dance bars in Maharashtra but partly upheld the validity of the Act.

The Court quashed some of the provisions like mandatory installation of CCTVs and a partition between bar rooms and the dance floor; showering of currency notes on the dancers and the provision mandating that dance bars in Maharashtra should be one kilometre away from religious places and educational institutions.

The Court, though set aside a provision that ensured a monthly salary for the artists, it held that there has to be a written contract between bar dancers and their employers. It also approved the timing of 6 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. for dance bars in Mumbai.

(Source: PTI)

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Human Rights Commission: NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that the Government of Maharashtra in the State Assembly has informed that 639 farmers committed suicide in the State between March and May, 2018. The reported reasons were crop failure, debt and inability to repay bank loans.

The Commission has issued notices to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Agriculture and the Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra calling for the detailed reports in the matter, specifically mentioning the status of implementation of the schemes for the farmers and relief to the aggrieved families. The response is expected within four weeks. The Union Government is expected to inform the Commission, if they have any specific plan or mechanism in their mind to effectively address the situation.

The Commission has observed that it is not for the first time that such news has come to its notice. It has been receiving complaints regarding the deaths of farmers across the country, including the State of Maharashtra. It has also taken suo motu cognizance of such matters. Committing suicide by the farmers in such a large number is a serious matter as it involves the right to life of the victims. Their families also come under tremendous pressure due to sudden demise of an earning member.

It has further observed that in spite of announcement of several schemes including crop insurance and loan waiver by the Central and State Governments, the forlorn story of poor farmers generally remains the same. The farmers are still choosing to end their lives, understandably, if not being able to cope up with the stress, financial crunch and social stigma due to crop failure. There is a need for the Central and State Governments to see that the schemes announced by them are implemented in true spirit, to achieve the target so that such tragic deaths of the farmers could be averted.

According to the media report, carried on 15th July, 2018, a total 639 farmers had committed suicide in Maharashtra between March 1 and May 31, 2018. The information had been provided by the State Revenue Minister in the State Assembly in response to the questions of the opposition members. They had, reportedly, alleged that all the schemes of the government, including the loan waiver, compensation to farmers in case of loss of crops and minimum support price (MSP) for agricultural goods, had failed, due to which the cases of suicide by the farmers have increased.

The news reports further say that as claimed by the opposition, in the last four years, as many as 13,000 farmers had ended life, of which 1500 committed suicide in the last one year alone. The Revenue Minister had reportedly stated that according to the parameters set by the State Government in October last year for declaration of drought, 8 talukas of Yavatmal, Washim and Jalgaon Districts were declared affected by medium intensity drought in April this year and the compensation along with other assistance has been provided to the affected farmers, accordingly.

It is further mentioned that on 29th May, 2018, the Union Government made amendments in the rules for declaration of drought-hit areas, based on the suggestions made by the states and accordingly the state revenue and forest departments have made the changes on 28.6.2018. The Chief Minister of the State has reportedly stated that appropriate action will be taken to recover the mortgaged lands of the farmers from the respective lenders.

National Human Rights Commission