Orissa govt, DPCL explore legal steps against KoPT limit extn

Bhubaneswar, Feb 10 (PTI) Terming extension of limitsof Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) upto Bhadrak as "illegal", Orissagovernment and Dhamara Port Company Ltd (DPCL) today said theywere weighing legal options to challEnge the decision.

"We may go to court challenging extention of limits ofKoPT as it is against Orissa''s interest," Chief Secretary B KPatnaik told reporters after reviewing the situation arisingout of shipping ministry approving extention of KoPT limits.

Stating that such extension of limits was done withoutconsulting Orissa government, he said it would adversly affectabout half-a-dozen of proposed ports in northen Orissa.

Dhamara port was almost ready for operation and theextension of limit of KoPT would directly affect the prospectof the all weather port in Bhadrak district, he said.

While Orissa government said it was waiting thedecision of the shipping ministry''s meeting scheduled to beheld on February 14 in New Delhi, Patnaik said chief ministerhad taken up the matter with union minister G K Vasan.

Chief executive officer (CEO) of DPCL Santosh KMohapatra said his company was exploring legal options andconsidering approaching court against extension of the limits.

"We are waiting for the ministry''s decision," he said.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Chemicals andFertiliser Srikant Jena had also opposed the extension of thelimits of the KoPT.

"Entire deep sea alongside north Orissa would now fallunder the limits of KoPT which would seriously jeopardise thestate''s maritime activities," Jena said in a letter to Vasan.

The revised limits of KoPT extends 200 km south ofHaldia into Bay of Bengal covering an area of 28646 sq km,sources said.

The extended limits of KoPT clearly encroaches intothe already notified limits of Bichitrapur, SubarnarekhaMouth, Bahabalpur, Inchudi, Chandipur, Chudamani and to someextent Dhamra Port, Jena sid.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also demanded roll backof the decision of extending the limits of KoPT.

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