‘The State has not sent any proposal seeking Central assistance for new port’

The Sagarmala project will be the growth engine for the ports, especially the major ports in the country, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal has said.

Addressing the media here late on Monday night, he said that to the Sagarmala project had taken the cargo handling in the country from 16 million tonnes to 105 million tonnes.

“A goal of completion of the project has been set for 2035. More than 50 new sectors have been included in the project. The project cost has also gone up from ₹5 lakh crore to ₹6.79 lakh crore,” said the Union Minister.

According to him, all the 11 major ports in the country will be developed and modernised to reduce the turnaround time for cargo and make them competitive globally.

Mr. Sonowal said, “Sagarmala project encompasses government sectors, State and private sector. We have to compete with the private players,” he said.

Referring the new port proposed in Prakasam district and Bhavanapadu, he said, “Bhavanapadu, being a minor port, will be developed by the State government. As far as the Prakasam or the development of a new port with the assistance of the Centre is concerned, the State government has not sent any proposal so far.”

On the inquiry against the appointment of Managing Director and CEO of the Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL), he said a complaint had been received and an internal inquiry was on.

PM Gati Shakti

Referring to a question on the PM Gati Shakti, the Union Minister said that it was an integrated initiative and all sectors would develop with the participation of all. This initiative has been planned to make India a 5 trillion USD economy, he said.

Mr. Sonowal also reviewed the ongoing projects at the Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA). After reviewing the projects that are coming up with an investment of about ₹1,446 crore, he urged VPA Chairman K. Rama Mohana Rao to complete the Cruise Terminal, covered storage sheds, Fishing Harbour modernization on a war-footing.

The port has taken up the development of Cruise Terminal with an investment of ₹53 crore. The construction of terminal building and berth is under progress. The projects are expected to be commissioned by April 2023. “The idea is to develop Visakhapatnam as a global destination for cruise liners,” he said.

The port has also undertaken the modernisation of Fishing Harbour with an investment of ₹152 crore. The Minister also interacted with the BOT and PPP operators, port users, Stevedores Association and trade union members.

Earlier in the day, the Union Minister also addressed the BJP leaders and activists.

Source: The Hindu