"The inclusion of Krishnapatnam Port in the extended corridor would benefit traders to a large extent as it would connect four ports, three international airports and three cities by rail and road," says Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd CEO.

The proposed extension of the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor to Krishnapatnam Port will benefit traders in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, according to Anil Yendluri, Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd, Chief Executive Officer.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Yendluri said: “The inclusion of Krishnapatnam Port in the extended corridor would benefit traders to a large extent as it would connect four ports, three international airports and three cities by rail and road. Besides, several thermal power plants and oil refineries are coming up in southern coastal Andhra Pradesh. It will benefit the region.”

While Japanese investors have been demanding better infrastructural facilities between Ennore and Chennai Port and road/rail connectivity from Chennai to Bangalore, the Andhra Pradesh government lobbied for inclusion of Krishnapatnam in the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor and the Centre accepted the proposal. Prime Minister’s advisor T.K.A. Nair is visiting Chennai regularly to review the project’s progress.

To take advantage of the changing scenario, Krishnapatnam Rail Company Ltd has started the process of doubling and electrification of the railway line between Venkatachalam Junction (near Gudur in Andhra Pradesh) and Krishnapatnam Port. The process will be completed in three months, covering 26 km in length.

Currently, coal, maize, minerals, granite, fertilizers and wheat are moved to and from Krishnapatnam Port through 15 rakes per day and this will increase to 60 rakes per day. Coal is transported to Toranagallu in Bellary district for a steel firm and to Gummidipoondi for a power plant in Tamil Nadu; it gets wheat from Maharashtra and maize from Koppal, Karnataka.

Krishnapatnam Port is located about 190 km from Chennai and is seen as an alternative port by the trade for moving coal, minerals, granite, chillies and tobacco. Traditionally, these traders used Chennai Port. However, issues such as congestion and delay in transporting their produce forced them to look at alternative ports such as Ennore Port, Tuticorin Port and Krishnapatnam Port.

“We are not competing against Chennai Port as the latter has excellent connectivity with several mainline vessels and feeder vessels calling the port on regular basis as compared to us. We started the container business only in April and are handling about 2,500 to 3,000 twenty-foot equivalent units of containers per month. We have a long way to go,” he said.

Port users said it did not make business sense for the traders to shift all the goods to Krishnapatnam Port due to the cost factor. While one can reach the port within a day from Chennai, traders might be forced to wait for days to catch the feeder or mainline vessel, due to less number of arrivals. Of late, dealers in granite, tobacco and chillies have started using Krishnapatnam Port against Chennai Port. In other words, Chennai Port’s loss is Krishnapatnam Port’s gain.

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