The decision over what to do with the projected coal and iron ore berths at Paradip hangs in the balance. Contracts with successful bidders were signed nearly four years ago, but the start-up of operations has been postponed pending a court case in the Supreme Court.

In the case of the iron ore berth, the Nobel Group-led consortium is said to be reluctant to now go ahead with the project because of the situation with the global iron ore market.

In the meantime, Paradip Port Trust has had to seek the legal removal of private firms from the land where the two berths are due to be built. Because of the geographical layout, the coal berths cannot be built until the iron ore berth has first been put in place. Each will be able to handle 10 million tonnes annually, but will cost a combined $184 million.