New Delhi | The Centre would soon build a major port at Colachel in the southernmost tip of Tamil Nadu at an estimated cost of Rs 21,000 crore, envisaged to emerge as a southern gateway of transshipment in the country. Coming close on the heels of the Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport in Kerala to be developed by the Adani Group, about Rs 21,000 crore would be spent to establish the Colachel port at Kanniyakumari district in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
Briefing newspersons here, Union Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan today said, Government of Tamil Nadu has given its consent to the Centre to facilitate developing the port. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) would be created for the purpose. The port would be developed in three phases and it would take three years for completing the construction, he said.
The minister, however, did not elaborate the roadmap as to whether the port would be built on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model and did not talk about the monetary contribution by the Union government in establishing it. Noting that the 1.7 million metric tonnes of goods would be handled at the port, Radhakrishnan said that the new port would soon turn out as a gateway from the south for the country.
According to him, mother vessels are being anchored at Colombo port and containers are being ferried to different countries thereafter. Against this backdrop, the proposed Colachel Port, which is a natural harbour, would be come in handy, wherein mother vessels can directly enter. It is going to play a major role (in coming days), he said, adding, the port would generate thousands of jobs in the region.
He further said that 500 acres of land would be reclaimed from the sea for the project, which would be landfilled and adequate compensation would be given to land owners, whose land would be acquired for the Colachel port. Radhakrishnan also expressed hope that the issues related to completion of a road linking Chennai Port with Maduravoyal would be resolved.
On the other hand, replying to a question on 16 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy recently, he said, steps are being taken by the External Affairs Minister for their release.
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