“All major issues addressed, project will be completed within stipulated time”
Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan on Friday handed over Chennai and Ennore ports’ equity contribution of Rs.50.50 crore to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for completion of the Ennore Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP).
Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) officials issued cheque for Rs.43 crore and Ennore Port Ltd, Rs.7.50 crore. With this, ChPT has paid Rs.110 crore out of its total contribution of Rs.250 crore while EPL has paid Rs.25 crore. It will pay the remaining Rs.9 crore.
Out of the Rs.600 crore earmarked for the project, the NHAI has spent Rs.140 crore out of its contribution of Rs.270 crore and State government allocated Rs.48 crore (Rs.58 crore).
An NHAI official said that the organisation, which had executed 35 percent of work, was hopeful of completing the project by June 2013. However, the Authority faced impediments in the removal of 46 structures in Cherian Nagar and 447 in NTO Kuppam and shifting of Bhavani Amman temple near the ChPT zero gate.
Mr. Vasan told reporters that all the major issues concerning EMRIP had been addressed with co-ordination of various stakeholders and the project would be completed within the stipulated time. The remaining money would be paid as and when NHAI sought it.
Asked about missing last-mile connectivity to the Ennore port, he said that if the land belonged to the State government, it should address the issue.
He also announced that a Rs.9.81crore Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) project had been awarded to Kongsberg Norcontrol of Norway. Presently, trial runs were on and the system would be launched officially soon. The Navy and Coast Guard were in the process of procuring a video remote display feed from the VTMS.
Mr. Vasan said that the ChPT would provide financial assistance of Rs.35 crore to the dependents of employees on compassionate grounds. So far, ChPT received requests from 663 out of 868 dependents. After scrutiny they would be paid an amount ranging from Rs.1.25 lakh to Rs.5 lakh each depending upon on the waiting period.
ChPT Chairman Atulya Misra said that the port had issued allotment letters to 120 fishermen out of 146 and the remaining 42 shops would be constructed and allotted soon.
Shipping Secretary, P.K. Sinha said the contract for mega container terminal at ChPT would be awarded during the second quarter of the current year.