The Centre has sanctioned a sum of Rs one hundred and forty crores for
various tourism development projects in Tamil Nadu including a sum of Rs 17
crores for a mini cruise terminal at Chennai port during the current financial
year, Minister of State for tourism K J Alphonse said here.
Declaring open the modern cruise terminal at the Chennai port Mr
Alphonse said Tamil Nadu stood first in attracting domestic tourists for the
fourth year in succession and ranks number two in the case of foreign tourists.
About 34 crore domestic tourists visited the state last year while the foreign
tourists numbered 48.60 lakhs during the same period.
The Centre is constructing a Mega cruise terminal in Mumbai at a cost
of Rs 200 crores followed by big
terminals at Goa and Cochin while Chennai gets a sum of Rs 17 crores.
The minister said the projects that the centre has funded in Tamil
Nadu include starting of ferry service from Kannyakuamari, Manapadu,
Rameshwaram, Mahabalipuramk and Chennai at a cost of Rs 99 crores and
development of tourist infrastructure at Kancheepuram at a cost of16.47 crores,
Velankani Rs five crores and the cruise
terminal at Chennai port at a cost of Rs 17 crores.
The cruise terminal will have twenty immigration counters, baggage
scanners where as many as one thousand passengers could be handled at a time.
The terminal will follow the standard operating procedure laid down by the
shipping ministry for the quick completion of formalities. Several port levies
like port charges and berthing charges have been done away with. Major
concessions have been announced for the vessel related charges for the cruise
vessels entering Indian ports of Mumbai, Goa Cochin and Chennai.
Minister of state for shipping Pon Radhakrishnan said there is ray of
hope for the for the quick evacuation of containers from the terminals of the
Chennai port with the Port Maduravoyal elevated corridor project all set to
take off shortly. , The Inauguration of resumption of work in the project is
expected shortly he said.
The Minister said he held a meeting with all stakeholders of the
project including the port, NHAI and the
Tamil Nadu government last week.
He said Chennai port has come out of the woods with registering a
surplus of rs 230 crores last year as
against rs six crores during 2014,
The state tourism minister Vellamandi Natrajan sought central
assistance to the tune of rs five hundred crores for improving the
infrastructure in various tourist spots in the state., Considering that the
state attracted the largest number of domestic tourists in the country for the
fourth year in succession and ranked number two in the case of foreign
tourists, the centre should have no issue in funding these projects.
Chairman P Raveendran spoke about the salient features of the
terminals and the facilities that will be provided to foreign tourists in the
terminal including baggage scanners. Mr.
Cyril George deputy chairman welcomed the gathering.