Vallarpadam ICTT launched amid major milestones

Our Kochi Bureau | Updated on February 13, 2011

The site of the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal was the cynosure of all eyes in Kochi on Friday, when the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated the proejct. Photo:Vipin Chandran   -  The Hindu

The Indian port sector has crossed a major milestone by handling one billion tonnes of cargo per annum. According to the Union Shipping Minister, Mr G. K.Vasan, the port sector can boast of this achievement at a time when the country's first International Container Transshipment Terminal is being inaugurated at Kochi.

The shipping sector has also made impressive strides by crossing the 10 million GRT (gross registered tonnage) mark in October 2010, he said at the inaugural event in connection with the commissioning of the ICTT at Vallarpadam, a BOT project between Kochi Port and DP World.

The Minister pointed out that the Shipping Ministry has taken steps to augment the infrastructure in ports to keep pace with the growth. The Ministry has put in place a mechanism to facilitate private sector participation in investments and operations. In the last two years, the Ministry has awarded 22 PPP (public-private partnership) projects at an estimated investment of Rs 9,000 crore.

Success of PPP projects

Currently, 22 more PPP projects are under bidding and are scheduled to be awarded soon, he said, adding that the ICTT at Vallarpadam is a shining example of the success of public-private collaboration.

Recently, the Ministry brought out a vision document, Maritime Agenda 2020, in which the Ministry has set ambitious targets that include increasing the port capacity three times, to around 3,200 million tonnes. The Minister said the Ministry would not only achieve but surpass these targets.

He described the inauguration of Vallarpadam Terminal as a ‘golden day' in the annals of Kerala and the country's maritime history. With the commissioning of the terminal, the need to transship containers through foreign ports would be substantially reduced.

Cost savings

This will reduce shipping costs and thus give the country's exporters and importers a competitive edge. Reduction of transaction costs, including logistics costs, would help the whole economy, he added.

The ICTT is a comprehensive package with 17-km road connectivity, 8.6-km rail connectivity and links to the inland water transport system.

Mr Vasan complimented the Ministries of Railways and Road Transport and Highways for completing these connectivity projects well ahead of time.

The RO-RO jetties constructed by the IWAI (Inland Water Authority of India) at Bolghatty and Maradu will provide seamless connectivity to National Waterway-III from the Vallarpadam terminal, he said.

He said the Kochi Port handles three lakh teu per annum now and the Vallarpadam ICTT has the capacity to handle one million teus initially and three million teus on full completion.

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Published on February 13, 2011
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