Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurates infra projects worth Rs 148 crore to augment capacity in Chennai & Kamarajar Ports

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Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush Shri Sarbananda Sonowal today inaugurated major infrastructure projects in Chennai, Tamil Nadu to augment the capacity of Chennai and Kamarajar ports in the state. The projects – worth more than ₹148 crore – aim at boosting the capacity of Chennai and Kamarajar ports. The Union Minister also underlined the ongoing discussion between India and Russia to open up ‘Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor’ in order to bolster the maritime trade between the two countries.

A bunker berth at Bharathi Dock, Goods Shed yard at Jolarpet and 40 KLD (Kilo Litres per day) sewage treatment plant were inaugurated at Chennai port by Shri Sarbananda Sonowal. The total cost of these projects is more than ₹55 crore. The 182 m Bunker berth Project, funded under the visionary Sagarmala scheme of Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways  (MoPSW), is worth ₹50.25 crore. This will enable a capacity addition of 1 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum) and will also handle Bunker Tankers up to 10,000 DWT. This will serve the bunkering needs of vessels calling at the regional ports in Chennai, Kamarajar and Katupalli and other vessels passing from nearby.

Speaking on the occasion, the Shri Sarbananda Sonowal said, “The rich history of Tamil Nadu’s marine trade has been a bedrock of growth and development of Indian economy. As we work towards building an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, these projects are expected to play a pivotal role in engineering the positive turnaround in the marine sector of the region. The projects inaugurated today will not only empower Tamil Nadu’s marine sector but also enable growth multipliers in the regional trade along with the EXIM trade. Our conscious effort to unlock the humongous potential of Blue Economy, through revolutionary schemes like Sagarmala, is in sync with the vision of  new India as envisaged by Modi ji.”

Commenting on the furthering marine cooperation between Russia and India, Shri Sonowal said, “India is in talks with Russia to open up Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor to further the special relationship between the two countries while unlocking the huge trade potential in blue economy. Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, India affirms its commitment to rejuvenate its trade & investment potential to propel the growth of India. This corridor will serve this purpose acting as a conduit of growth & investment cooperation between two historic cities with rich marine history – Chennai and Vladivostok – of the two  countries.”

The 15,000 Sq Meters large Goods Shed facility, with loading & stacking facilities at Jolarpet, will enable movement of cargo from up to Chennai Port through railway, increasing movement of cargo especially containers. The port will also get a revenue share (from Southern Railway) from the Terminal Access Charges.

As part of the Green Port Initiative of MoPSW, the Sewage treatment plant of 40 KLD capacity will enable reuse of waste water after treatment for various purposes. The Amrit Mahotsav Marg between Kamarajar Port’s 4.8 km access road from Vallur junction to NCTPS junction was built with an investment of ₹88 crores. This will boost hassle free movement of cargo with better road connectivity to the port. Widening and Concreting of Port Access Road from Vallur Junction to NCTPS junction was completed under Sagarmala and one of the “National Infrastructure Pipeline” projects of MoPSW.

About Sagarmala Programme

Sagarmala Programme has taken an integrated approach towards development of the maritime infrastructure of India and identified projects under 5 key pillars for development – Port Modernisation, Port Connectivity, Port-Led Industrialisation, Coastal Community Development and Coastal Shipping & Inland Water Transport. There are 802 projects worth ₹5.40 Lakh crore for implementation under the Sagarmala Programme by 2035. Out of which, 221 projects worth ₹1.12 lakh crore have been completed and 252 projects worth ₹2.29 Lakh Crore are under implementation. In addition to the above, 329 projects worth ₹1.98 Lakh crore are under various stages of development.

Out of the total Sagarmala Projects, 108 projects worth ₹1.46 Lakh. Crore are being implemented in the state of Tamil Nadu. Of the 108 projects, 43 projects worth ₹34,752 Crore have already been completed, 34 projects worth ₹67,759 Crore are under Implementation and 31 projects worth Rs. 44,057 Crore are under various stages of development. Under the Port Modernisation category, 44 projects worth ₹49,045 Crore, some of the key projects under this category being ‘Development and Operation of a full-fledged Truck Parking Terminal adjacent to NH-7A opposite to Fisheries College at VoC Port’, ‘Dredging the dock basin for coastal cargo berth at VOC Port’ etc.

The Chennai Port has been playing a crucial role in the industrialization of the southern India. Along with the Kamarajar Port, the Chennai port has been the backbone of the EXIM trade of the State. Chennai Port achieved an operating income of ₹943 crore for 2022-23 and a net surplus of ₹150 crore, which is the highest in the last 13 years. The Kamarajar Port also crossed the ₹1,000-crore income mark for the first time in FY23. KPL recorded a net surplus (profit before tax) of ₹670 crore in 2022-23, an increase of 24.39% over the previous year.