Centre offers to develop another major port in AP

Ch R S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on July 13, 2018 Published on July 13, 2018

A file photo of Union Shipping Minister, Nitin Gadkari.

Shipping Minister says Rs 16 lakh crore to be spent on port projects

The Union Minister for Shipping, Highways, Road Transport and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari, has offered to develop another major port in Andhra Pradesh at Vadarevu in Prakasam district, if the State Government is able to provide 3,000 acres of land for the purpose. At present, there is only one major port in the State - Visakhapatnam.

He made the announcement at a media conference here on Friday afternoon, after reviewing the performance of the 12 major ports. He said ports should come up with innovative ideas to increase their efficiency and profitability.

They should focus on export of agricultural and aqua products, he said. Further, desalination plants would be set up at Paradip, Tuticorin and Kandla.

Sagarmala projects

Under the Sagarmala project, he said Rs 16 lakh crore would be spent on port projects and to improve the road connectivity to ports, generating jobs to one crore people, directly or indirectly. In the first phase, Rs. 8.76 lakh crore would be spent on 576 projects. He said 69 projects had been completed at a cost of Rs 13,500 crore and 222 works were still ongoing, entailing an investment of Rs 2.5 lakh crore.

AP projects

"Later in the evening, under Sagarmala, I am going to inaugurate or lay the foundation stones to several national highways projects in the State entailing an investment of more than Rs 6,688 crores," he said. He said his ministry would spend more than Rs 3 lakh crore in Andhra Pradesh under the Sagarmala project, for national highways and waterways.

Vizag port

Referring to Vizag port, Gadkari said the Government was planning a free trade zone at the port and also a satellite port. He said that he was going to dedicate to the nation the modernised and upgraded iron ore handling complex by Essar in Vizag port at a cost of Rs 830 crore.

He said a floating hotel was being built off Mumbai and the Vizag port should also seriously consider such a proposal. Further, cruises would be encouraged at all ports and also at the Krishna river. Under the Sagarmala project, connectivity to other ports in the State such as Kakinada and Krishnapatnam would also be improved.

He complimented Vizag port for taking eco-friendly measures and said all ports should have sewage treatment plants.

Dredging Corporation of India

In response to a question, he said there need not be any fears of the Visakhapatnam-based PSU Dredging Corporation of India going into private hands. Major ports in the country, including Vizag, will pick up stake in the PSU.

Published on July 13, 2018
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