Transhipment port in Tamil Nadu to be built on reclaimed land

Chennai, Sep 2 (IANS) The proposed mega transhipment port planned at Enayam in Tamil Nadu will be built on reclaimed land requiring no major land acquisition except for road connectivity, a top official of Union Ministry of Shipping said here on Friday.

Responding to a query at the Regional Editors Conference, Ministry of Shipping Secretary Rajive Kumar said: “We will reclaim land for the Enayam port. The government of India has decided to reclaim land and do the port.”

Kumar said there will be no major land acquisition for the port except for the road connectivity.

On the need for Enayam port, he said the transhipment cargo which is currently around 2.5 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) is expected to go up to 10 million TEUs in the future.

Kumar said there is unanimity on the need for the transhipment port as 25 per cent of the container cargo are transhipped to other ports which is a loss for the trade, ports and exporters here.

The size of the ships is becoming larger with a capacity to carry 18,000 to 20,000 containers needing deeper drafts.

According to him the government has taken up six new port projects, including the transhipment port at Enayam and dredging of major ports so that bigger ships can be berthed.

He also said the government is taking measures to double the overall capacity of both public and private ports to 3,000 million tons per annum by 2025.

Kumar said the central government will revamp the Major Ports Authority Act, Merchant Shipping Act and also review the model concessionaire agreement for projects under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

The new Major Ports Authority Act that would completely revamp the major ports in the country and the second one will be a new Merchant Shipping Act.

Kumar said the government will review the model concessionaire agreement for port projects implemented in PPP model.

According to him, all the ports will be given radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to track containers and also container scanners.

He said the government hopes to see major activity by the three new companies formed recently-Indian Port Rail Company, Indian Ports Global and Sagarmala Development Company.

He said the Indian Ports Global has taken up the Chabahar port development project in Iran.

Kumar also said the search for a suitable candidate to be the Chairman of the Cochin Port is on while there will be a Chairman for the Chennai Port soon.

Queried about the status of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project he said an expert committee has said the alternate route is not economically or ecologically viable and the matter is before the court.



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