The government has prepared a Rs. 4,500-crore project for the development the Azhikode port in Kannur district, Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem told the Assembly on Friday.

Replying to a submission by M. Prakashan Master (CPI-M), the Industries Minister said the government was floating a global tender for the project, which would make Azhikode port a major centre of commerce. The proposal for developing the port was prepared with the help of international consultants Deloitte.

The Minister said that the port would prove useful for transporting large quantities of coal required for the proposed thermal power plant at Cheemeni in Kasaragod district. Further dredging would be necessary to make the port suitable for berthing big vessels. Land acquisition for the construction roads and creating other infrastructure has already begun. A crane has been installed at the port at a cost of Rs. 5 crore.

Once developed, the port would also have a major role in coastal shipping, Mr. Kareem said.

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