Thriuvananthapuram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the state government has sought a three-year dredging subsidy for Vallarpadam Container Terminal as part of measures to revive its functioning.
A high-level meeting has also been called to sort out issues related to the impediments faced by Vallarpadam-bound containers at Walayar check post. The state has also written to the centre to urgently release Rs 400 crore to Cochin Port Trust.
“The cost incurred annually for dredging, Rs 110 crore, is hard to bear at a time when the terminal is not operating even at one-third of its potential,” Mr Chandy said in the Assembly on Monday. In a submission on the future of Vallarpadam terminal, Congress member Benny Behanan said, “It was said that 10 lakh containers would anchor annually at Vallarpadam. But now it handles less than 3.5 lakh containers.”
Mr Chandy said the proper functioning of the LNG Terminal, which resumed operations in 2013, would have given a boost to the Vallarpadam terminal. The laying of the GAIL pipeline has met with stiff opposition from locals who have been seeking heavy compensation.
The chief minister also said that pipe-laying for the project has been stalled for now, he said.
The chief minister said that though checking could not be done away with, some measures would have to be taken to facilitate the easy movement of cargo through the Walayar check post. He said the inordinate delay at the check post is also making the Vallarpadam terminal unattractive.