Kollam: Kollam port has many plans for development, but most of them remain on paper.
Tourism development and freight movement through the port have been hit due to lack of infrastructure and customs clearance facilities.
The port has cheap cargo facilities for the cashew industry which now depends on Tuticorin and Kochi ports for the import and export of cashew kernels. Moves to start passenger services to Minicoy island and cashew freight operations have not yet borne fruit.
The centre has not approved the plan to develop Kollam port, which is closer to the international shipping channel, into an emigration entry- exit point.
There were also controversies over the land acquired by the port for the development of a port office complex, including customs and immigration facilities, as the local residents raised objections. Some 34 acres of puramboke land adjacent to the existing port was allotted by the government to set up new facilities, including container yard and parking area. The proposal for constructing a cement packaging terminal sanctioned in 2013 is also pending.
The government had entered into a contract with a company based in Gujarat for setting up a cement terminal which has been delayed indefinitely owing to land acquisition issues. The proposed land has now been handed over to the revenue department. The cement brought in ships would be packed at the terminal for which a fixed share of profit would be levied by the Kollam port.
The port was also envisaged as a hub for cargo operations with shipping services starting from Colombo and Lakshadweep. A delegation from Colombo had visited the port earlier for talks on starting operations between the two destinations. The port already has berths for passenger and cargo ships....