Thoothukudi: Having the potential to become a transshipment hub on the east coast, the great VOC port in Thoothukudi can attract 2.5 million TEUs of containerized cargo, which now heads to Colombo, said the Union Minister of state for shipping (independent charge) and Chemicals &fertilisers, Mansukh L Mandaviya.
He announced that VOC port will have a dedicated area to be developed as ‘Coastal Employment Unit’ soon.
Inaugurating completed projects worth Rs 193 crore and laying thefoundation stones for widening the harbour entrance channel at a cost of Rs 13.11 crore and for a 140-KW capacity solar roof top power plant at the cost of Rs 76 lakh, he said that as part of the Sagarmala project, VOC port within its premises has identified 702 acres of land for the creation of the Coastal employment Unit (CEU), in which export-oriented industries like food processing, garments and various other port based industries could be developed.
The CEU, for which a proposal has been sent to the shipping ministry too was said to increase the economic activity creating a huge employment opportunity.
The facility would also help generate additional cargo for the port of up to one million tonnes annually.
However, it may be recalled that fishermen of Ramanathapuram had on Thursday protested at Rameswaram against the ‘Sagarmala’ project, as they fear it would affect the livelihood of fisher-folks. They urged the Cabinet minister Sri Nitin Gadkari to reconsider the whole project.
Mr. Mansukh said that once upgraded as international transshipment hub, VOC port would be able to attract the 2.5 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containerized cargo from the other Indian ports on the eastern coast, which is now heading towards Colombo for transshipment.
V O C port trust chairman, T K Ramachandran along with his deputy, N Vaiyapuri and various other port officials accompanied the union minister of state for shipping, Mansukh L Mandaviya during the inspection. The minister later had a meeting the stake holders at the port administrative office....