India's first inland mini-port to be opened next month

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Kottayam, Oct 15 (UNI) The first inland mini-port in the country would be opened at Nattakom near here on Kerala State formation day on November one.

With the commissioning of the port, for which export-import permission was granted under the Customs Act by the Union Finance Ministry, door would be opened for transport of goods from the land-locked districts of Kottayam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta to the Cochin port on the west coast and back.

The port, a joint venture of the state-owned Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) and the South Indian Chamber of Commerce, is expected to provide a boost to the cash crop industry in the central Travancore region of the state.

Work on the Rs 9.5 crore project, for which the Kottayam Port and Container Terminal Services Private Limited company was constituted, started two years ago. The state government has a 49 per cent stake in the company.

The port, spread over 8.5 acres of land on the banks of river Kodoor opening into the sprawling Vembanad lake, has a 40,000 sq ft warehouse, 10,000 sq ft administrative building, offices for shipping agents, banks, container yard and facilities for online tracking of cargo transport.

Construction of a 300 DWT barge capable of carrying ten containers had also been completed.

Proposal for a new approach road to the port from the M C Road is awaiting clearance from the State Cabinet, said Mr V K Vasavan, who represents Kottayam in the State Assembly.

UNI VST SV HT1120

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