The government has approved a Rs 2,029-crore project for deepening and widening of Mumbai harbour channel at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai. The cost of the project will be Rs 2,029 crore excluding the service tax. The entire project cost will be funded through internal resources of JN Port Trust (JNPT) with market borrowing, if necessary, the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement. The project includes the existing channel to be widened to 450 metres from the current 370 metres, and the straight reach channel to be extended to 35.5 kms, from the existing 33.5 kms. The draft of the channel will be increased to 15 metre, from the current 14 metre. The estimated quantity to be dredged is to the tune of 35.03 million cubic metre, including 1.73 million cubic metre rock dredging. The work is likely to be implemented by inviting global tenders and to be completed within 2 years after its award. The total capacity of the JNPT for container handling is 5 million TEUs (Twenty feet Equivalent Unit). After the fourth terminal becomes operational, this capacity will go up to 9.8 million TEUs. The enhanced capability will help in handling larger vessels up to 12,500 TEUs, besides leading to economic benefits like saving in vessel waiting time and savings on account of transhipment.
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