A request made by the Kamarajar Port Limited (KPL), formerly Ennore Port Limited, to the Salt Department a decade ago, to transfer a site for the port’s development, has materialised only now.

At a function here on Saturday, the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, under whose ministry the Salt Department functions, handed over the Possession Certificate for 647.8, acres purchased at a cost of Rs.483 crore, to the Minister of Shipping, G.K. Vasan. The Shipping Minister handed over a cheque towards the land cost to his cabinet colleague.

Sale proceeds

The long time taken for getting the land was described by the Joint Secretary (Ports), N. Muruganandam, as a ‘maamamgam’ (12 years.) Mr. Natchiappan said the sale proceeds would go to the Consolidated Fund of India, but added that the he wants the sum for his department.

During the occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding between IOC and the port for developing an LNG terminal, at a cost of Rs.4,512 crore and a concession agreement with Adani Ennore Container Terminal Pvt.Ltd, for development of a container terminal at a cost of Rs.1270 crore, were signed.

At present, the KPL has 2,083 acres of land. Considering the port’s potential for its development, there was need for additional land.

Mr. Vasan said the port had six cargo handling berths with a capacity of 30 million tonnes. During the current financial year, it is expected to handle 24 million tonnes. This was possible due to professionalism in port operations.

With the development of the five million tonnes, LNG terminal and 16 million tonnes container terminal, among other terminals, the port’s capacity at the end of the 12 Plan period would increase to 67 million tonnes.

Arch

Responding to a request from Mr. Natchiappan, the Shipping Minister said an arch would be put up on the land to commemorate the Salt Satyagraha Movement of Mahatma Gandhi, and a salt research centre from the corporate social responsibility funds of users.

Mr. Natchiappan said the good performance of the Shipping Ministry was an indication of the country’s economic growth.

While the MOU with IOC for the LNG Terminal was signed by the company’s Executive Director, A.K. Marchanda, the concession agreement for development of container terminal was signed by Rajiv Sinha, Executive Director, Adani Ports, and the KPL Chairman and Managing Director, M.A. Bhaskarachar.

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