The Shipping Ministry proposes to undertake over 22 new projects worth about Rs. 16,000 crore in 2012, Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan said on Monday.

“Around Rs. 16,000 crore we have planned for around 22 projects this year. By end March, around five to six projects will positively come out. Already projects for Rs. 6,700 crore in Mumbai has come out positively,” he said at a press conference in Chennai.

Mr. Vasan said his Ministry is also discussing Land Use Policy and Coastal Shipping, which will soon be placed before the Cabinet.

“It has gone for inter-ministerial consultation. As soon as it is over, land use policy will be cleared,” he said.

When asked about the alleged scandals at Kandla port, the Minister replied, “There is no scandal in the port. It is an old case of 2004 and is in court... CBI has also cleared it. There is no scope of scandal in Kandla.”

He was hopeful that the road connectivity to Ennore port would also be completed by June 2013, and recalled that Roadways Minister C.P. Joshi had visited Chennai port recently and held talks with representatives of Chennai Port Trust, National Highways Authority of India and the Tamil Nadu government to speed up work.

“We are working together to open the road by June next year,” he said.

Chennai Port Trust (CPT) Chairman Atulya Misra said the port has lost over 18 million tonnes cargo worth Rs. 226 crore after the Madras High Court ruling on not to handle coal and iron ore. CPT is looking for alternatives of clean cargo to compensate losses incurred.

Chennai port has recorded 24 to 25 per cent growth this year in terms of handling containers, Mr. Vasan said.

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