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Tuesday, Aug 31, 2004

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Gangavaram port project will be expedited: CM

Our Bureau

Visakhapatnam , Aug. 30

THE new port coming up at Gangavaram will spur industrial growth in Visakhapatnam and the Congress Government will take all steps for the speedy completion of the project, Dr Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy, Chief Minister, said.

At a meet-the-press programme organised by the Visakha Journalists' Forum here on Monday, he said the Telugu Desam Government had conceived of the project and identified the developer but land acquisition had been delayed.

"After coming to power, we have taken up the issue with Mr Paswan, Union Steel Minister, and earlier this month the steel plant authorities have handed over the land to the State Government for developing a port there," he said.

He said Visakhapatnam with two ports would then be an attractive destination for industrialists. "Similarly, we have cleared all the hassles relating to the pharma city project and the hurdles in land acquisition for the special economic zone at Atchyuthapuram in the district. It is our intention to develop the Kakinada-Vizag zone as an industrial belt," he said.

The Chief Minister said there would be no water problem for Visakhapatnam as 5 tmc feet of Godavari water would be available immediately and in future 25 tmc feet more would be made available after the completion of the Polavaram project.

"We will also offer land at cheap rates to entrepreneurs here to promote industrial growth and create the other requisite facilities," he said.

Referring to information technology, he said his Government was trying to persuade IT companies in Hyderabad to have an additional facility or centre in Visakhapatnam too. "We will develop Visakhapatnam as a subsidiary IT centre,'' he said.

On the tragedy at Krishna Pushkaram at Vijayawada, he admitted that there was a lapse on the first day, which had resulted in the accident. "I have taken all remedial measures and instituted an inquiry. It should not be blown out of proportion," he said.

He said the Government was also concentrating on developing coffee plantations in the tribal tracts of Visakhapatnam with the help of the Coffee Board and trying to promote the brand in the international market. "It will be of great help to more than 60,000 tribal farmers in the area," he said.

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