The second major port sanctioned to the State by the Centre is likely to come up at Ramayapatnam in Prakasam district.
Of the three locations inspected by the technical committee for setting up the second major port in the State with a long coast line - Nakkapalli in Visakhapatnam, Ramayapatnam in Prakasam and Duggarajupatnam in Nellore, conditions are said to be most favourable in Ramayapatnam.
The technical committee which visited the three locations several times submitted its report recently. The government will examine the views of the committee and send its report to the Ministry of Shipping for its final decision. “By August 31, Centre will announce the location of the new major port. No decision has been made yet,” a senior official said.
Centre proposed two major ports in the country, one in Andhra Pradesh and another elsewhere in the Western coast as part of the Indian Maritime Agenda 2010-20 to double the present handling capacity of ports from 1,000 million tonnes. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy responded in December 2011 and suggested the three sites and in January this year, the technical committee deputed by the Centre visited the locations. A lot of factors would determine the location of the new major port, based on draft, depth of the area, length of the coast, availability of hinterland, mineral resources, etc., officials said.
While the Eastern Naval command authorities in Visakhapatnam expressed reservations and concerns about security for the location of the major port in Nakkapalli, Duggarajupatnam was located close to Sriharikota Space Research Centre, raising security concerns again.
The Investment and Infrastructure Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao held a meeting with Naval authorities last Monday and they conveyed their security concerns about Nakkapalli site.
Several advantages like being closer to Chennai-Kolkata rail and road connectivity as well as to the State capital and Rayalaseema and Telangana districts apparently make Ramayapatnam better choice. Prakasam district also boasts of international exports in tobacco, granite and orchards.
Once Centre takes a decision by month-end, State would concentrate on land acquisition. The Centre had sought about 5,000 acres and external infrastructure such as road connectivity.
Though land acquisition would not be a problem, the State would have to address rehabilitation issues.