The long-awaited project, connecting Gogha in Bhavnagar district of Saurashtra and Dahej in Bharuch district across the Gulf of Cambay, will facilitate faster transportation of goods and people. It is expected to reduce transport costs and time significantly as the 360-km land-route will be replaced by a 31-km sea-route.
The project will also restore the old glory of Gogha, which was an important port until the Jamnagar Port was constructed.
The Rs 225-crore project is expected to be completed in 15 months. Essar Projects will not only design and construct the ro-ro terminals at both ports, it will construct approach bunds, trestles, pontoons and link spans. Its technical expertise will also be challenged by the need for reclamation work for constructing the approach bunds. While the approach bund at Gogha will be 497 metres long, the bund at Dahej will be 112 metres long. The approach trestles will be 472 metres and 90 metres, respectively, at Gogha and Dahej.
The Gujarat Maritime Board, charged with the completion of the project, awarded the contract to Essar Projects following a competitive bidding process. It has also begun to invite tenders for running the ferry service between the two ports.
Gujarat's development effort
The project is part of the Government of Gujarat's effort to develop trade and transport infrastructure along its 1,600-km coastline. As part of this, it has constituted the Gujarat Coastal Area Development Board, which focuses not only on industrial development, but also aims to develop infrastructure for tourism, environment conservation, fisheries development and natural calamity management.
Demand for commercial transport is expected to rise exponentially in Gujarat as work on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor progresses; transport requirements from Dahej will also increase after construction of the special economic zone near Dahej.