Kochi, Feb 11 (ANI): Dedicating the International Container Trans-shipment Terminal to the Nation at Vallapadam in Kochi, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh today termed it as a "mile-stone in logistic infrastructure development."
"The realisation of this a long-awaited project is a mile stone in the country's development of logistic infrastructure which would help Kochi emerge as a major hub of port-based and processing activities, Dr. Singh said
"It is a symbol of the Government's commitment to the development of the State of Kerala and its people. It is a symbol of how public-private partnership can contribute to public good. And it will be an enduring symbol of the close ties we wish to build with our extended neighbours in West Asia, particularly the United Arab Emirates, he added.
He said it is noteworthy that the construction of this Terminal is the centrepiece of a comprehensive plan to develop Kochi as an economic and logistical hub of our region.
"The project area has been declared as a Special Economic Zone. A link road has been built to connect Vallarpadam with NH 47 and NH 17. The Railway Vikas Nigam Limited has completed the 8.5 km rail link that connects this Terminal to the railway network. The navigation channels are being deepened and this is a challenging task involving as it does the removal of nearly 26 million cubic meters of soil,' he added.
He said Kerala has vast potential to emerge as a front- ranking state of the country utilising availability of skilled and qualified human resource.
"This state leads our country in many areas. There is no reason why its huge human potential is utilised for it to become a front-ranking state of India," he said.
He said with the building of this terminal our exporters can now access mainline container vessels calling at one of the most well located ports of India.
"This flagship projects symbolises the keen interest of the United Arab Emirates in investing in India and in promoting stronger business and people-to-people relationship between our two countries," he added.
Conveying his congratulations to the Cochin Port Trust team, the DP World and all the others who have made this project such a great success, Dr Singh said: "I hope that this project symbolizes the future rejuvenation of the ports and shipping sectors in our country.
Kerala Governor R S Gavai, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Defence Minister A K Antony were among those present on the occasion. (ANI)