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Paradip aims for cruise ships for travellers

Written by: Staff
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Bhubaneswar, Apr 9 (UNI) Paradip is likely to be a destination for cruise ships soon with port authorities coming forward to improve infrastructure and speak to tour oprators in this regard.

''Its not that we have not hosted passenger ships in our port before. Now we have an open mind to do it often if the tour operators evince requisite interest and the state government comes up with necessary logistic support in terms of better roads to link Paradip with other places of interest in Orissa,'' Chairman of Paradip Port Trust, K Raghuramaiah told reporters here today.

He said PPT had space, inclination and expertise to host cruise ships. '' But then mere interest on our part is not enough. It depends on many factors like whether the tourists would like to move out to have a feel of the state. You require a well coordinated professional network to make this sort of venture user friendly,'' he said adding the PPT was working on the basics.

To a question Mr Raghuramaiah said the PPT was happy to set a record by handling 33.11 million tonne of traffic during 2005-06.

This he said was 10 per cent higher than its earlier record of 30.10 million tonne registered last year.

The traffic handled during the last fiscal included 21.6 million tonne of export and 11.4 million tonne of import, both of which were records as well, he pointed out.

Besides, a total of 51 operational records were created during the year including handling 1339 vessels, a record rail-borne traffic of 22.68 million tonne, a record handling of 6.36 million tonnes of iron ore and 8.27 million tonne of thermal coal mechanically, said the PPT Chairman.

Stating that the port earned a total operating income of Rs 481.40 crore during 2005-06 against Rs 471.38 crore the previous year, Mr Raghuramaiah said after an operating expenditure of Rs 232 crore, PPT was left with an operating surplus of Rs 249.40 crore.

UNI XC PC SS RAI2148

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