Srinagar- Dubai ports giant DP World is set to build an inland port in Jammu and Kashmir as part of plans by the emirate to invest in Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Thursday.
The Centre last year said Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), would invest in infrastructure and other projects in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sinha, who is in Dubai this week to promote investment, said DP World would soon visit the 250 acre site earmarked for the inland port facility.
“We will finalise it shortly,” he told Reuters news agency, describing the project as a “firm commitment” by state-owned DP World.
A DP World spokesperson said the company had a “productive meeting” with Sinha on Thursday and that it was preparing a proposal for the project.
The announcement last October that Dubai would invest in the region was the first by any foreign government since Kashmir’s autonomy was revoked in 2019 and the Muslim-majority state was divided into two territories directly ruled by New Delhi.
It is not clear where the port will be established but “Gulf Business” quoting DP World reported recently that discussions took place for a potential ‘multi-modal’ logistics park and hub in Jammu comprising warehouses and storage to “encourage inter-modal transfer of containers, bulk and break-bulk cargo.”
Emirati newspaper Khaleej Times reported this week that Dubai developer Emaar Properties would build a mall in Srinagar.
Lulu Group, an UAE-headquartered company headed by an Indian billionaire, also plans to set up a food processing hub in Kashmir.
But investment in the heavily militarised Jammu and Kashmir is fraught with risk. There are frequent attacks by militants, while the Indian government has at times faced international criticism for widespread crackdowns there by security forces.
“As far militancy is concerned, we are dealing with it … and I can assure it will be dealt (with) fully” said Sinha, who insisted the region was a safe place for foreign investment.
“UAE is a launching pad for Jammu and Kashmir and its products to enter other Arab countries and also the rest of the world. With the coming up of an inland port by DP world, our freight problems will be solved and Kashmir’s products will reach the world markets. Our farmers will benefit with the production unit. We are going to have a sea change in Kashmir,” Sinhas was quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times.
Asked when the mall and the port will materialise, Sinha said: “There is no delay from our side. It is in our interest that projects kickstart at the earliest and we are facilitating it.”
He said the government is issuing permissions through a single-window system within 30 days.
“The land acquisition has been made easier through a landmark judgement. Our electricity is cheaper than any other state. We are also offering incentives on return of investments for businesses,” he said.
LG Talks Business With DP World Chief
The Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha discussed business opportunities and potential areas of collaboration between the Union Territory government and UAE based DP World, here on Thursday.
According to an official spokesperson, Sinha met the Chairman of DP World, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem here to discuss the opportunities and potential areas of collaboration between the Government of Jammu & Kashmir and DP World, a Dubai-based company specialising in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, maritime services, and free trade zones.
The India Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai is currently hosting the Jammu & Kashmir Week from 3rd to 13th January 2022, he said.