Sonia calls for increased PPP for infrastructure development

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Krishnapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, Jul 17 (UNI) Congress President and United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today called for increased public-private partnership for infrastructure development on the lines adopted by the Andhra Pradesh Government.

Inaugurating the phase one of the Rs 10,000-crore first private port in the country, she said, ''Andhra Pradesh is now a leading example of how the Public-Private Partnership could be put to the benefit of the people at large.'' Citing the recently-opened international airport at Hyderabad under the PPP and now the Krishnapatnam port, Ms Gandhi said AP had shown how the Government and private sector could work together to create the best infrastructure for the public at large.

She stressed the need to accelerate economic growth so that the Union and State Governments could increase expenditure on social sectors, including education and health.

Ms Gandhi expressed confidence that this port would play a key role in stimulating growth and expanding job opportunities to the people in this area.

Referring to the international airport which she had launched in Hyderabad in March, she said the airport had been acclaimed as one of the finest airports in the country built on PPP model, just like this port.

Expressing satisfaction with the rehabilitation package implemented by the State Government for those displaced by the project, she suggested that the rehabilitation should be transparent and handled with sympathy and the displaced fishermen should be adequately compensated with jobs.

The development of the port, which is expected to be over by 2011, would move around 200,000 containers in its first year of operation and some 450,000 in the second year.

It is projected that within 10 years, around 60 per cent of container traffic will be coming from trans-shipments -- cargo moved from small, regional feeder ships on to large vessels that can carry close to 10,000 containers and serve the world's main trade routes between Asia, America and Europe.

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