Vallarpadam terminal : Kerala sails ahead

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Kochi, Feb 11: It is very rarely that a Prime Minister in India gets an opportunity to commision the big budget and India's first International Container Transshipment Terminal in Vallarpadam that was inaugurated by himself in 2005. The chance was bagged by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. A proud moment for Kerala, the project was flagged off in a glittering ceremony that was attended by Chief Minister of Kerala, V S Achutanandan; Defence Minister A K Antony; Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi; Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways C P Joshi; Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan; Union Minister of State for Home Mullapaly Ramachandran, Union Minister of State for Agriculture K V Thomas; Union Minister of State for Power K C Venugopal; Governor R S Gawai and the Chairman of Cochin Port Trust N Ramachandran as well.

"With the building of this terminal, our exporters can now access mainline containers vessel calling at one of the most well-located ports of India," Prime Minister said on the occasion. The first phase of the Rs 3,200 crore terminal under the Cochin Port expansion project will mark a considerable decrease in expenses during import-export.

The first-of-its-kind terminal was built by the Dubai Ports World at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore. The terminal has a capacity of 1 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) of cargo per annum. Another Rs 1,700 crore was spent in parallel infrastructure like road and rail connectivity to the terminal.

"The ICTT in Vallarpadam is thus a long-awaited milestone in the development of a country's logistic infrastructure. Today, about 60 per cent of India's exports and imports containers are transshipped through ports like Singapore and Colombo. This transshipment through ports outside the country involves an additional expenditure of USD 300 per container and an extra 7-10 days of transit time," Manmohan Singh said.

He also lauded the public-private partnership in the project and hoped that the new addition would mean more investments to the state.

OneIndia News

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