Vishakhapatnam Port is poised for major expansion with Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurating several projects during his visit to the port on Thursday.
The Minister inaugurated a Container Freight Station of one lakh TEU capacity developed by Messrs VCTPL at a cost of Rs 104 crore for which an extent of Ac 34 acres is allotted by the Port. He also inaugurated the commissioning of 6.25MW out of 10MW solar power plant. The power generated from this plant is meeting the captive consumption of the port and the excess power is proposed to be sold by third party agreements. Besides, the minister inaugurated a Liquid cargo berth – EQ-10 developed by Messrs AVR Infra Pvt., Ltd, on Private Sector Participation at a cost of Rs.55.38crores with a capacity of 1.84 million tonnes per annum and a Multi cargo berth – WQ-6 developed by M/s.ABG Infra Logistics on Private Sector Participation at a cost of Rs.114.5 crores with a capacity of 2.08 million tons per annum.
Gadkari also laid foundation stone for the project “Reconstruction of old EQ-2,3,4&5 berths into two new berths of 530 meters quay in the inner harbor” taken up with port’s internal resources at a cost of Rs.182 crores and capacity of 6 million tonnes. He also reviewed the progress of two berths WQ-7&8under construction taken up by port with internal resources at a cost of Rs. 243 crores and capacity of 6.39 million tons.
The Union Minister reviewed the performance of the port and the progress of developmental projects. He also reviewed the dredging projects executed by the port at a cost of Rs.400 crores which were taken up to enhance the draft of inner harbor to 14.5mts to enable Panamax vessels berthing and outer harbor to 18.1 draft to enable berthing of Super Cape vessels berthing.
Later, the Union minister held discussions with the stakeholders of the port. He suggested to the Andhra Pradesh Govt to install sewage treatment plant for treating the city sewage before letting into the port limits to avoid water pollution. The Minister informed that the pollution levels have been considerably reduced consequent to various mechanization projects. The particulate matter (PM10) in the air is brought down from the level of 300 microgram in 2011 to less than 100 microgram in 2016. The Minister also directed the Port to engage a good consultant to do a comprehensive study and suggest measures to reduce the pollution level further. (NSS)