Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections | Upgrading of Nagapattinam port remains a forgotten promise

Be it these two main contenders or candidates of other mainstream parties, including Makkal Needhi Maiam, Naam Tamizhar Katchi and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, none has been able to convince voters on their plans for infusing vibrancy into the local economy.

Since the economy in this coastal town is mostly dependent on fishing sector, there is a sense of dejection among traders over absence of any progress in the project to develop the once-active Nagapattinam Port.

The promise — made in 2012 — to upgrade the port into an all-weather, deep-water, direct berthing green-field facility at a cost of ₹380 crore remains just on paper. “The port, if upgraded, will give major thrust to shipping trade in the region,” T. Sundaravadivelan, president, Nagore-Nagapattinam Chamber of Commerce, said.

At the time of making the announcement under Rule 110, the State government said the port once upgraded would be able to handle 10 lakh tonnes of cargo and generate revenue of ₹20 crore and, in 25 years,it would around 60 lakh tonnes earning ₹120 crore.

The fisher community, on its part, is agitated over a host of other issues including government action against those using banned nets and restrictions imposed on bottom trawling in the Palk Bay.

The fishing department has been enforcing the restrictions on operators of mechanised boats to sustain marine resources. But the operators are also steeped in financial troubles due to the restrictions as the vessels are owned by a consortium of 40 to 50 fishers, according to official sources.

“The Centre’s plan to develop coastal economic zones under the Sagar Mala project will enhance the fishing restrictions and make matters worse,” according to Rajendra Nattar, president of Indhiya Desiya Meenavar Sangam.

There is no major industry in the constituency. Indian Oil Corporation’s new refinery project through its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corporation is the only silver lining. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the project earlier this year.

The aspirations of voters in this constituency include upgrade of the municipality into a corporation, construction of an integrated bus stand, and improvement in rail services.

Also, the tourism infrastructure is insufficient to cater to the needs of visitors from all over the country to the world-famous Velankanni Basilica and Nagore Dargah.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 8:26:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamil-nadu-assembly/upgrading-of-nagapattinam-port-remains-a-forgotten-promise/article34203325.ece

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