National

AP eyeing Sagaramala pilot project

Ch RS Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on December 07, 2014




As the Prime Minister is very keen on reviving the Sagaramala project and has convened a review meeting later this month, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is focussed on getting the pilot project to the State.

The project, originally conceived during the Vajapayee government but later shelved by the UPA government, envisages maritime development zones around major ports along the coast. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his intention to revive the project soon after he assumed charge in June.

Evacuation of cargo from the ports, both by road and rail, is a major challenge and is proving to be a handicap for the development of Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram and Kakinada ports, said MT Krishna Babu, Chairman of Visakhapatnam Port Trust. The three ports are part of the proposed Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Industrial Region.

Capacity

At present the Visakhapatnam main port handles 65 million tonnes per annum but the capacity is set to go up to 120 million tonnes after the completion of the ongoing projects costing more than ₹3,500 crores. Gangavaram and Kakinada deep water port are roughly handling 15 million tonnes of cargo each. Therefore, the Vizag-Kakinada zone is the ideal choice for the pilot project. The Railways have proposed to complete doubling and electrification of rail lines in Visakhapatnam Port only by 2016.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was briefed on the issue during his recent visit to the city. The Chief Minister will be taking it up with the concerned ministries during his visit to New Delhi.

One of the key issues is how to formulate the regulatory framework for the proposed maritime development zone as already many special economic zones exist in the Kakinada-Vizag zone. A hassle-free regulatory regime is the prime requisite for the project to succeed.

Published on December 07, 2014

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