Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari today inaugurated a Truck Parking Terminal at the V.O. Chidambaranar Port, Tuticorin under the ambitious Sagarmala Project. Built at a cost of Rs 23.69 Crore, the Terminal can handle up to 200 trucks. Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan was also present on the occasion.Shri Gadkari also inaugurated a Port Information Centre. Built at a cost of Rs 1.89 Crore, the Information Centre has 60 LED panels depicting the evolution and growth of the Port. It has touch screen kiosk systems containing in-depth information on Seaports,Shipping, Indian Ports, Exim Trade, Photo gallery and Video gallery.An additional Container Terminal Berth was also commissioned on the occasion, which has the capacity to handle 7.20 MTPA (6 Lakh TEUs). Cost of the Project is Rs. 312.23 Crore. The present capacity of the Port is 65.90 Million Tonnes, and has 15 berths.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister emphasized the importance of Tamil Nadu in the Sagarmala program. He said, over 100 projects with investment of over 2.5 lakh crore are envisaged under the programe. Pointing towards the logistic importance of the Tuticorin port and the role it plays in supply of coal for power generation, the Minister said deepening of the port will make it possible for mainline vessels to carry export containers from the industrial hinterland of the state. This will help avoid transshipment at foreign ports, bringing down the cost of coal transport as also the overall cost of generation of electricity. He further informed that investment of Rs 3000 crore is being made in this sector.Shri Gadkari announced that the National Highway linking the port to mainland will be widened to 6 lane road to ease congestion. Tuticorin to Madurai road construction will also start soon. Shri Gadkari expressed hope that the Truck Parking Terminal will provide resting facilities for truck drivers, resulting in lesser number of accidents.On water scarcity in the Tuticorin region, the Minister said, the problem is similar to the one in Vidharba. He said, his efforts are to bring the 3000 TMC Godavari water that flows into the sea, to Tamil Nadu through Cauvery.