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Cruise terminal in Chennai port declared open

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.

 

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