TN Govt examining feasibility of setting up mini ports: Minister

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Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, Jan 21 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu Government is examining the feasibility of setting up mini ports along its lengthy coastline to increase maritime trade and create employment opportunities, state Highways Minister Vellakoil Saminathan today said.

Speaking to reporters here after visiting a Chinese ship which docked at the port here after a gap of about 12 years, Mr Saminathan said the Cuddalore and Nagapattinam Ports, badly damaged in the 2004 tsunami, had undergone repair and renovation with ADB assistance.

Dredging work was underway at the port here to deepen the draft to enable bigger ships to dock here.

Traffic congestion at Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin Ports will ease once work on the ports was completed besides creating employment opportunities for the locals.

Citing an example of revenue potential, he said the Chinese ship which docked here had fetched a revenue of Rs five lakh for the port authorities.

A Korean company had already inked an agreement with the government for setting up a ship building yard at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore on the four km stretch between Pudukuppam and Annaranpettai creating employment for 15,000 people. Work was expected to begin in three months.

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