Kolkata: In a bid to fructify a major riverfront beautification and commercial development project near the iconic Howrah bridge here, the Kolkata Port is evaluating suggestions of prospective bidders received after inviting expression of interests for the initiative, a top official said on Sunday.
The project, which is in line with the government’s Maritime India Vision 2030 and its plan to monetise assets of public sector entities, could bring investment of hundreds of crores and open another revenue stream for the Kolkata Port, now known as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, he said.
“There is good response from prospective bidders for the proposed Hooghly riverfront development project around the Armenian ghat. They have suggested some changes in bid terms and conditions which we are evaluating. We will take necessary action in this regard for a win-win proposition,” SMP (Kolkata Port) chairman Vinit Kumar told PTI in a telephonic interview.
The port intends to develop an ‘iconic riverfront commercial complex’ with robust infrastructure at the prime business district and vantage point of Kolkata city on Strand Road surrounding the Armenian Ghat.
It has extended the last date for submission of bids by a month to August 1 to accommodate the proposed changes, he said.
“With the invitation of expression of interests, we are trying to find which model would be the best suited for the project so that it would bring the maximum private investment. The suggestions will help us decide the most suitable model for execution,” Kumar said.
According to the EoI document, the proposed development is supposed to be executed either through a 30-year land lease model or on a public-private partnership mode.
“If a 30-year lease for the land parcels is considered, the base price excluding taxes will be approximately Rs 62 crore,” an official said.
Roughly, 3.6 acres of land in three plots next to each other, adjacent to the Armenian Ghat, will be offered by the port for the development.
The port authorities also aim at commercial developments such as a boutique hotel, a high-street shopping mall, office spaces, auditorium and sports complex.
Kumar said the Maritime India Vision 2030 outlines 10 key themes which are essential for India to secure its place at the forefront of the global maritime sector.
One of the ten key themes focuses on promoting ocean, coastal and river cruise sector.
“Therefore, in order to support cruise tourism in Kolkata ,the land bank of Hooghly riverfront needs to be developed with hospitality, leisure, recreation, adventure, amusement and entertainment for Kolkata citizens and tourists,” Kumar added. PTI BSM