Centre dashes hopes of Ramayapatnam port in Prakasam district.

Plan for 2nd major port caught between state and Centre.

Visakhapatnam: The proposal of a second major port with an investment of Rs 17,000 crore in Andhra Pradesh seems to have caught in the troubled waters between the state and the Centre.

It has been two years that the Centre included the establishment of a major port at Dugarajapatnam in Nellore district in the AP Reorganisation Act with Vizag-based Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) as the main equity partner but there has been no progress.

Dugarajapatnam scoring low on feasibility as per a study conducted by Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) Ltd has rekindled the hopes of shifting the port to Ramayapatnam in Prakasam district.

However, Union shipping ministry had downed the curtains on the Ramayapatnam location saying there was no any such proposal to set up a major port in Prakasam district.

Centre wants the port to come up at Dugarajapatnam whereas state refused to fund the project in the form of land acquisition and to create external infrastructure. And Centre categorically turned down the Ramayapatnam location which the state government earlier proposed.

To a question raised by Anakapalle MP, Muthamseti Srinivas Rao in the Lok Sabha whether the government proposes to establish a new port at Ramayapatnamin Andhra Pradesh; if so, the details and the present status thereof, Union minister of state for shipping Pon Radhakrishnan has replied in negative saying there was no such proposal, on Thursday.

However, the state government has plans to develop a minor port at Ramayapatnam along with Bhavanapadu and Narasapur on PPP mode in an extent of 5,000 acres for which RITEs had conducted techno-economic feasibility studies and submitted the report to the state government.

Three places were shortlisted for the proposed major port, Nakkapalli, Ramayapatnam and Dugarajapatnam.

A high-level central committee visited the three places in 2013 and submitted its report to the Centre

Later the state government wrote to Centre recommending Ramayapatnam. There were reports that ISRO and the defence officials reportedly raised security concerns as SHAR is near to Dugarajapatnam and Nakkapalli is close to upcoming Naval Alternative Operations Base (NAOB).

Interestingly, CCEA had finalised Dugarajapatnam to set up the port brushing aside the reported apprehensions expressed by ISRO

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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