Vallarpadam ICTT to be ready by November, 2009

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Kochi, Jul 23: India's first international container transshipment terminal at Vallarpadam, near here, will be operational by November, 2009, Cochin Port Trust (CPT) Chairman N Ramachandran said on Wednesday, July 23.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Ramachandran said CPT and Dubai Ports Interntional, which had won the bid to construct and operate the over Rs 2,000 crore terminal, had ''mutually agreed'' to extend the completion date of the project to November, 2009, from April, 2009. ''The work on the rail and road connectivity and the terminal construction is going on in full swing and we are certain that we will be able to complete the construction according to the scheduled time and Vallarpadam will be a reality by November 29, 2009,'' Mr Ramachandran said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone for the Vallarpadam ICTT in February, 2005.

Mr Ramachandran said almost 35 per cent of the work on the 8.5 km rail line to the ICTT had been completed. Work was progressing well on the 17.5 km road link also, he said.

While the entire land area required for the rail connectivity had been acquired, some small land holdings remained to be acquired for the road link and these also were likely to be acquired very soon.

Denying reports about any change in the road alignment to Vallarpadam, the chairman said the existing alignment, drawn up by the CPT in consultation with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) was ''sacrosanct'' and there would be no change in it.

Stating that full security would be provided to the container ships as per the Interntional Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) Code, to which India was a signatory, Mr Ramachandran said the movement of local transportation and fishing boats would be regulated.

UNI

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