India's first smart port city to come up at Kandla in Gujarat

The project is being executed by Kandla Port Trust
The country’s first smart industrial port city (SIPC), coming up near Gandhidham, Kandla, is expected to attract private investments in excess of Rs 10,000 crore.  Kandla Port Trust (KPT) would be focussing on key sectors like furniture, salt based industries and engineeing. E-auction notice for industrial plots is expected to be opened later this month. Spanning 1,425 acres, the SIPC will be developed in two parts, a 580-acre smart urban township and an 845-acre modern industrial zone. The urban township in Adipur-Gandhidham includes development of residential units, commercial complexes and entertainment zones.

Equipped with features, such as smart utilities and a smart traffic system, along with a command centre, SIPC can house a population of 65,000. The master plan for the Kandla SIPC, includes utility, trunk, and social infrastructure catering to the needs of both the sites. The master plan envisages green energy, an optical fibre network, smart distribution and metering for utilities, incident detection, including leakage identification, disaster management and rainwater harvesting.

To be built at an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore by KPT, the project will be funded through internal resources as well as foreign debt. According to Ravi Parmar, chairman of KPT, the trust has hired SBI CAPS as the debt syndication agency. In addition, KPT is exploring projects in the PPP mode. The project  would be managed through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) at a later date, which will be responsible for operation and maintenance. The SPV will recover its operational costs through user charges.

“There will be roughly 55 plots of between 5 and 50 acres being put up for auction. We are planning plug and play projects along with feeder rail connectivity as well as road connectivity,” Parmar said. With over 50 per cent of India’s overall processed edible oil coming from refineries in Kutch and India importing 70 per cent of timber through the Kandla and Mundra ports, KPT is looking to tap industrial units in these sectors. Kutch also contributes 60 per cent of India’s salt production. In addition, KPT is looking to tap engineering units like basic metal manufacturing and fabrication.

Private investment within the industrial zone of the Kandla SIPC is estimated to touch Rs 10,000 crore, according to Parmar. KPT is in talks with salt-based and edible oil players for setting up units.

SIPC will have 30 per cent open space for green cover, apart from clubs, gyms, hospitals, and a five-star hotel.  The project is awaiting clearance from the environment ministry, which is expected this month.

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