The V O Chidambaranar port in Tuticorin near the land's end will soon
become a mainline port with the shipping ministry pumping in Rs three thouand
crores to increase the draft from 14 to 16.5 meters, Shipping Minister Nitin
Gadkari announced here.
Mr Gadkari who was addressing a news conference at the end of a the three
hour review meeting he held with the state chief minister E Palaniswamy and
state government officials said with the increase in draft, vessels of 1,60,000
DWT can enter the port.
An additional three million ton capacity will be created through increasing
the draft in the port. With larger vessels handled at the port, the logistics
costs will also come down tempting the mainline vessels to call at the port.
Currently the port is a feeder port mainly concentrating on transhipment
cargo for the mainline vessels stopping at Colombo port.
The minister parried questions on the progress of Colachel port where there
has been no progress though the Union Cabinet had given in principle approval
to the project nearly two years ago. The detailed project report is yet to be
prepared for the project an indication that the project has been put on cold
storage. The Minister did not make any mention about the progress of the port
project during his sixty minute interaction with the press.
On the alternative alignment for Sethusamudram project the minister said
the chief minister favoured the alignment close to Pamban Bridge. (The Pamban
alignment will further restrict the size of vessels sailing through the ship
canal project and thereby cripple its viability.)
The minister said about eight hundred acres of land near Tuticorin port and
three hundred acres of land near Kamararjar port Ennore have been acquired for
setting of Coastal Industrial Clusters.
Coastal berths are being constructed at Cuddalore port at a cost of Rs 115
crores while similar berths are under construction in Chennai and Tuticorin
Ports, Two Logistics parks will come up at Vepedu and Nemmili near Chennai.Both
the parks will be put up by the National highway authority of India.
Replying to questions he said there is no proposal to privatise the profit
earning Kamarajar port at Ennore though the Committee on Disinvestment had
cleared the proposal to privatize the port three months ago.
Work on the Chennai port Maduravoyal Elevated Corridor Project will
commence in the next three months as the National Highway Authority is giving
final touches to the revised Detailed Project Report. The project was stalled
by the then Chief Minister Jayalalitha on environmental grounds for more than
five years. Once the project is completed by 2021, there will be seamless
movement of containers from Chennai port to Kolkata high way.
The minister also announced the extension of the Elevated Corridor from
Maduravoyal to Ponamalle at a cost of Rs 1500 crores. Elevated corridors will
be constructed between Tambaram and Chinglepet (Rs 2250 crores) and between
Chennai and Nellore.
The work on the expressway between Chennai and Bengaluru a six lane high
way which will cut short the journey time between the two cities to less than
three hours will commence in six months. Land acquisition had been problem in
Tamil Nadu. The issue has been sorted out and work will commence by early next
year and completed in three years.
As many as 61 black spots identified in Tamil Nadu as the areas where road
accidents recur frequently and a sum of Rs two thousand three hundred crores
will be spent to improve the road engnieering at these spots. The ministry will
also consider setting up bus ports at Coimbatore and Madurai.