Odisha to set up Maritime Board for ports' development

The body will facilitate construction, maintenance and operation of all non-major ports in the state either directly or through public-private partnership mode. (PTI photo used for representation)

Odisha government has decided to set up a Maritime Board for the development of ports and inland water transport in the state, an official said.

The cabinet has approved the proposal to establish the statutory body in view of the future requirement of industries in the state, Chief Secretary AP Padhi said.

"The proposed Odisha Maritime Board will be established for overall maritime development of the state," he told reporters after the meeting on Friday.

The board will provide "policy guidelines and directions for the integrated development of ports and inland water transport keeping in view the country's security and defence-related concerns", he said.

The requirement of the Odisha Maritime Board was felt in the wake of development in mines, mineral, metal, oil, refinery and other sectors in the state, he said adding that the body is to deal with administration, control and management of non-major ports and non-nationalised inland waterways.

The body will facilitate construction, maintenance and operation of all non-major ports in the state either directly or through public-private partnership model.

He said the Chief Secretary will be the chairperson of the proposed 12-member board comprising stakeholders, representatives from the related state departments and the centre.

Though a Bill in regard to formation of the Maritime Board was passed in 2011, it was later withdrawn to incorporate additional points in it, sources said.

In another decision, the state cabinet has decided to implement the recommendations of Justice BP Das Commission for the safety and security of pilgrims at Puri's Jagannath temple.

All structures within 75-metre radius of the temple will be cleared to facilitate free movement of visitors and to ensure safety of the temple, Padhi said adding that the district collector will undertake a survey in this regard.

The cabinet also approved a proposal for financial restructuring of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC), enabling it to approach financial institutions for taking up commercially viable projects for better passenger amenities.

The cabinet also gave its nod to amend the existing provision of Odisha Police Service (Method of Recruitment and Condition of Service) Rule, 2013 in order to eliminate the constraints therein.

This is being done to make OPS officers eligible for filling up the posts of Superior Administrative Grade in the police service for an efficient and smooth administration. 

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