Balasore: The port of Dhamra, a joint venture of Tata Steel and L&T with equal share has been formally inaugurated by the chief minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik. The second port of the state, a project of Rs 3,500 crore witnessed its inauguration today though it went commercial since May 2011. The Chief Minister unveiled a stone plaque on the port jetty and went around to see unloading operations from a 180000 capacity capsize vessel from Australia which carried coal and had berthed at Dhamra Port on Saturday.

“This infrastructure would bring prosperity to the state by boosting the economy as well providing employment,” Patnaik said inaugurating the port. Terming the addition of this new port as a new chapter in the history of development of the state, Patnaik remniscenced about the first port, Paradip that was established by Biju Patnaik nearly 50 years ago. “Had he been alive now, he would have been greatly delighted to see the second port, a dream to strengthen the maritime affairs,” he added remembering the glorious ancient maritime history of the state.

Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Government of India Shri K Mohandas was present on the occasion along with the Minister for Commerce and Transport, Government of Odisha Shri Sanjeeb Kumar Sahoo, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Cooperation Prafulla Samal, MP Arjun Sethi, Chief Secretary BK Patnaik and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Dhamra Port Company Ltd Shri Santosh Kumar Mohapatra among others.

On this occasion, CEO DPCL thanked the state government, the district administration and people of Bhadrak district for their valuable contribution and support in making Dhamra Port project a dream come true. The port was commissioned in a record time and it has adopted all sophisticated and modern technology which makes Dhamra Port one of the most cost-effective and efficient ports in the eastern India, he said.

The Dhamra Port is located in Bhadrak district on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. The agreement to develop the port was signed in April 1998. The Port has an initial capacity of 25 million tonnes annually, and later increased to 80 million tonnes annually. On the other note, Greenpeace claims that the port would threaten the endangered species like the Olive Ridley turtle; and has opposed the project.