Vallarpadam project to be over on time: Baalu

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New Delhi, Mar 19: The multi-crore International Transhipment Terminal project at Vallarpadam in Kerala will be operational as per schedule in 2009, Shipping and Transport Minister T R Baalu said today. Replying to a spate of questions relating to his ministry in the Lok Sabha, he said the Cochin Shipyard had the potential to be developed to international standards, but there was paucity of land for its expansion.

Mr Baalu said there was a proposal to set up international size shipyards, one each on the East Coast and West Coast. The maritime states had been requested by his ministry to identify suitable location for the project. The basic requirements included availability of 1000-1500 acres with 2.5 km long water front, water draft of 10 to 12 metres, good rail and road connectivity and contiguity to a major port situated within the state.

He said Karnataka has suggested Tadri and Honne beaches, Kerala-Poovar in Thiruvananthapuram district, Orissa-Nuagarh, Palur, Gopalpur and Bahuda Muhana ports, Andhra Pradesh -Vodarevu.

West Bengal had not proposed any specific site so far, while Gujarat has proposed a few stretches such as Salaya, Jodiya, Mundra, Chanch and Pipavav and Tuna.

Mr Baalu said Ennore Port and Mumbai Port Trust had been appointed as nodal agencies for the project and were authorised to appoint consultants to identify three to four alternative sites each for setting up of shipyard on the West Coast and the East Coast and also suggest optimal locations with detailed justification.

The process for appointment of consultants had been initiated by the nodal agencies.

Replying to another set of questions on acquisition of land for six laning of national highways, he said land for six sections of the Golden Quadrilateral to meet the contractual requirements for award of concession was already available. Some additional land would be required for facilities like interchanges, acceleration/deceleration lanes and entry-exit ramps.

This requirement would depend on the finalisation of the design of the project, to be done by the concessionaire under the Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) pattern in public private partnership mode.

Mr Baalu said since these projects were at various stages of implementation, it was too early to give a time frame for acquisition of entire land at this stage.

UNI

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