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Chudamani port: High Court refuses to grant leave to Odisha Govt
By Input from Agencies
Place: Cuttack

Published on: 14-May-2012 01:33:54
   
Chudamani port: High Court refuses to grant leave to Odisha Govt

Cuttack: Orissa High Court today refused to grant leave to the state government for going ahead with concessionaire agreement for the 10 MTPA Chudamani sea port in Bhadrak district and ordered that the matter shall be listed for final hearing after summer vacation.

The High Court last year had restrained the state government from signing any further MoUs with any developers or concessionaire for setting up any new major or minor ports in the state while adjudicating a PIL challenging the alleged arbitrary and discriminatory orders of the state government in setting up ports in private-public participation (PPP) mode.

The Odisha government in 2009 had inked an MoU with Aditya Birla Group to develop the sea port on Build Own Operate (BOO) at an investment of Rs 1,500 crore. The government had also signed agreements to develop two other minor ports at Subarnarekha mouth and Astaranga ports to handle cargo such as cement, aluminum, iron ore, thermal coal, limestone, gypsum, clinker and copper.

These MoUs were challenged in the High Court when environmentalist Biswajit Mohanty filed a PIL last year alleging that the state government had signed the MoUs in contravention of the binding directions laid down on it by the union government and in violation of relevant entries in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.

After preliminary hearing of the PIL, the High Court in May last year had restrained the state government from going ahead with any further MoUs or concessionaire agreements for setting up any new ports without the leave of the Court.

Since the MoU for Chudamani port was signed much before the HC order of May 2011, the state government had approached the HC to grant leave for the concessionaire agreement of the port.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B N Mohaptra refused to grant leave to the state government on Chudamani port project and posted the matter for final hearing after summer vacation. .

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