The Gujarat government is making big plans for the establishment of an international port city, with seven potential locations already identified. This ambitious project, spearheaded by the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), aims to create a city similar to Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Dubai, complete with extensive port infrastructure, terminals, docks, residential complexes, and facilities for port-led industries and marine activities.
Madhvendra Singh, the CEO of Gujarat Maritime Cluster (GMC), a part of GMB, expressed excitement about the project, calling it a one-of-a-kind initiative in the country. The proposed city is expected to cover an expansive area of 250-500 square kilometers. Drawing inspiration from successful port cities like Rotterdam and Antwerp, Gujarat envisions its international port city becoming a model for Asia’s maritime development. Singh revealed that the master plan for the project is currently in the works, and the commencement of phase 1 is anticipated next year.
GMB has strategically shortlisted seven potential locations for the international port city project. These locations include Pipavav, Hazira, Valsad district (including the greenfield site at Nargol), Porbandar, Amreli, Bhavnagar, and the Gulf of Kutch. Each site is being evaluated for its suitability and contribution to the overall success of the project.
The vision for the proposed port city project was outlined in the Vision 2047 document, which GMB unveiled at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar. The document emphasizes the importance of developing state-of-the-art port facilities for the success of a port city. As sea-going vessels continue to increase in size and depth, there is a growing demand for larger, deep-draft terminals with extended quays and advanced mechanization.
The proposed port city in Gujarat is expected to feature a world-class port area with an estimated cargo handling capacity ranging from 250 to 500 million tonnes per annum. This includes deep-draft multipurpose terminals, facilities for shipbuilding and repair, a marina, water sports, and more. The emphasis on creating advanced and versatile port facilities reflects the long-term vision of Gujarat in establishing a port city that aligns with global standards and addresses the evolving needs of the maritime industry.
The Gujarat government’s focus on developing a robust maritime industry is evident through the involvement of the Gujarat Maritime Board in this ambitious project. As the principal governmental agency responsible for the maritime industry’s development in the state, GMB plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of Gujarat’s maritime landscape.
Madhvendra Singh, who is leading the project, envisions the international port city as a gateway to economic prosperity for the region. The success stories of port cities like Rotterdam and Antwerp serve as inspiration, highlighting the potential for economic growth, trade, and connectivity that a well-planned and efficiently managed port city can bring to a nation.
The selection of potential locations reflects a comprehensive evaluation process, taking into account factors such as geographical advantages, infrastructure readiness, and potential for economic growth. Pipavav, Hazira, Valsad district, Porbandar, Amreli, Bhavnagar, and the Gulf of Kutch each offer unique opportunities and challenges, and the final decision on the location will likely be based on careful consideration of these factors.
The mention of the international port city project in the Vision 2047 document indicates a long-term commitment to the development and success of the project. With a focus on creating world-class facilities and addressing the evolving needs of the maritime industry, Gujarat aims to position its port city as a key player in the global maritime landscape.
As the master plan for the project takes shape and preparations for phase 1 are underway, the international port city project in Gujarat holds the promise of becoming a transformative initiative. If successfully implemented, it has the potential to not only boost the state’s economy but also establish Gujarat as a leader in the maritime sector, contributing significantly to India’s overall growth and development.