The 68-lakh project is likely to be completed by December
The ground has been cleared for conversion of the old terminal building at the Visakhapatnam Airport into a cargo complex. The Rs. 68-lakh project has been awarded to a local contractor and the work is expected to begin in a few days and completed in six months.
Some of the walls will be demolished to house the Customs wing, offices of the cargo section, booking and delivery rooms and a temperature control room among other things.
The stairway inside the old building connecting the ground floor to the first floor will be dismantled and a new staircase will be constructed on the west side of the building.
The objective is to ensure that there is no link between the cargo offices and the offices of the Airport Director and general administration, located on the first floor. A single window will be provided for the convenience of exporters and importers. “The cargo complex project is expected to be completed by December this year. The initial hiccups have been overcome and direct export of goods have already started in a small way with Silk Air sending two consignments of mangoes, weighing around 1 ton each during the last couple months,” Airport Director K. Srinivasa Rao has told The Hindu.
On the future plans, he has said that an Integrated cargo terminal has been planned under the ASIDE scheme of the Ministry of Commerce. Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D. Purandeswari has already agreed to get funds from the Centre in this regard. Cold storages, truck terminals, and other facilities required for exports will be developed under the project, which could take about four years for completion.
When his attention has been drawn to the problems being faced by pharmaceutical companies, which have been routing their cargo through Hyderabad and Chennai, Mr. Srinivasa Rao has said that the issue has not come to his notice.
He is ready to sort out the issue, if any, with the departments concerned and asked the exporters to approach him directly, if they faced any difficulties, he says.
The total exports have marginally increased from 858.29 kg in 2011-12 to 859.93 kg this year.
The value of exports has, however, declined from Rs. 94,311.71 lakh to Rs.92,720.55 lakh during the same period. This is due to decline in diamond exports from 858.29 kg in 2011-12 to 819.93 kg this year. General cargo export, which was nil in 2011-12, has registered 40 kg this year, according to figures provided by GSEC Limited, who are the export cargo handling agents for AP Trade Promotion Corporation (APTPC).