Mark Constructions to develop Karaikal port

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Puducherry, Apr 22 (UNI) The Puducherry administration has entrusted Mark Constructions Ltd, Chennai, to construct the Karaikal port on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, Port Minister E Valsaraj told the Legislative Assembly today.

Replying to a question, Mr Valsaraj said the administration had provided 245 acres of government poromboke land and also acquired 353 acres of land from private parties for the project and handed it over to the developer.

He said Mark Constructions would set up the Karaikal Port Private Limited (KPPL) and the port development would be done through KPPL. The lease period would be initially for 30 years and later for 20 years with two ten years agreement.

For the initial 30 years, KPPL would provide 2.60 per cent of the revenue to the government as royalty and out of the 20 years of extension, ten per cent would be given as royalty for the first ten years and one per cent for the second ten years. It was the duty of the developer to lay roads and railway lines and the government would remain the owner of the land for the port, he said.

When Mr Anbazhagan (AIADMK), who raised the question levelled certain allegations, Mr Valsaraj said the scheme was benefitting the people of Karaikal.

Mr Anbazhagan then alleged that such an agreement was arrived at after obtaining ''kickbacks'' by several government officials, including the then Chief Secretary.

With this, Speaker R Radhakrishnan refused to allow any more discussion on the subject stating that the members could discuss in detail on the demands and passed on to other questions.

UNI PAB ROY SY AS1506

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