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State to set up maritime development board

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ROAD TO DEVELOPMENT: Minister for Ports M. Vijayakumar inaugurating the work on the construction of the port road in Kollam on Tuesday.
ROAD TO DEVELOPMENT: Minister for Ports M. Vijayakumar inaugurating the work on the construction of the port road in Kollam on Tuesday.

Staff Reporter

Maritime institutes to be located in Kollam and Manjeswaram

KOLLAM: The government will set up a maritime development board in the State soon, Minister for Ports M. Vijayakumar has said.

He announced this here on Tuesday while inaugurating the construction work of the Kollam port road.

The board was being set up under the ports policy of the government, Mr. Vijayakumar said.

It would be similar to those in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The main purpose of the board was the development of the ports in the State.

The Minister said that the development of ports would offer tremendous employment opportunities. In order to prepare the younger generation to meet those opportunities, two maritime institutes were also being set up.

The institutes would be located in Kollam and Manjeswaram. The one for Kollam had been proposed for Thiruvananthapuram earlier. But, taking into consideration the prospects in Kollam for such an institute, the project was shifted here.

The Minister said that there were seventeen notified ports in the State. Except for Vallarpadam and Kochi, the rest had to be developed by the State government. Six ports — Vizhinjam, Kollam, Alapauzha, Ponnani, Beypore and Azheekkal — would be developed in a time-bound manner.

He said that an allocation of Rs.40 crore had been made for the development of the Kollam port. The port road would link the Kollam port to the National Highway via Vady and the Collectorate junction. The construction of the road was expected to be completed in one year, the Minister added.

Ports Director S. Vijayan Pillai mentioned in his report presented at the function that the development of the port had been included in the Assistance to States for Developing Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities (ASIDE) scheme of the Central government.

Administrative sanction of Rs.12.80 crore had been given by the Centre for the construction of the road. From that amount, Rs.4.50 crore would be utilised for the extension of the port’s cargo berth and Rs.6.80 crore for constructing a protection wall. The remaining Rs.1.80 crore would be utilised for the road and the development of the port yard.

All development activities would be carried out without causing any inconvenience to the fishing community of the area.

Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan, who presided over the function, said that Kollam Collector A. Shajahan would soon be calling a conference with the persons concerned for solving some of the issues raised by members of the fishing community in the vicinity of the port.

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