The facility was set up at a cost of Rs.11.02 crore

Union Minister of Shipping G.K. Vasan inaugurated a number of facilities including a modern green gate entry complex, vessel traffic management system and occupational health centre at the V.O. Chidambaranar Port here on Friday.

The modern green gate complex, constructed with four entry and exit points, was established at a cost of Rs.11.02 crore to ensure free movement of cargo and container vehicles. It has radiological detectors, speed camera, swipe-card system, boom barriers and weighbridges. Besides, Port, Customs and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) offices would be housed in the modern complex.

The vessel traffic management system, which has been installed at a cost of Rs.8.77 crore, has radar, VHF and other satellite communication equipment with the latest software for detection, tracking and analysis of all vessels within 48 nautical miles. This facility would enhance the port security.

On the occupational health centre established at the Port Hospital, Mr. Vasan said it was aimed at prevention and management of occupational illness, injury and disability. The new facility would be useful to over 800 workers.

S. Ananda Chandra Bose, Chairman, VOC Port, signed a concession agreement with Transtroy, a Hyderabad-based consortium, for development of North Cargo Berth-III at an estimated cost of Rs.420 crore for handling thermal coal and rock phosphate.

It was proposed to dredge and deepen the area in front of the berth for up to 12.8 meters at an estimated cost of about Rs. 448 crore. “This port has the capacity to handle 33.34 million tonnes of cargo a year and it has been planned to increase its capacity to 85 million tonnes on completion of the inner harbour,” he said.

Mr. Vasan announced the establishment of Kendriya Vidyalaya School and added that the VOC Port authorities had volunteered to provide land for it. He presented awards to Port Users for Excellence in Traffic performance for 2012-13 and best export record.

Awards were given to 25 stakeholders under different categories. S.R. Jeyadurai, Tuticorin MP, S.S. Ramasubbu, Tirunelveli MP, and other port officials attended.

At a press conference, Mr. Vasan said the recent meeting of fishermen representatives from India and Sri Lanka ended on a positive note. But the Lankan Navy’s arrest of Indian fishermen soon after the talks jeopardised the reconciliation efforts.

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