Establishing a roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) handling facility between Queue 1 berth and South Coal berth is among the two major projects being taken up by the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) in the financial year 2022-23 under the Sagarmala project.
CPT chairperson Dr. M. Beena said that the initial proposal for the project had been sent to the Union government in May 2021, and a revised proposal had been submitted in March this year. “The proposal is under the active consideration of Centre,” she added.
The proposed ro-ro handling facility between Q1 berth and South Coal berth comprises construction of a reinforced concrete (RC) jetty structure of 615 square metres and includes strengthening of the existing road surface up to Indira Gandhi Road as well as auxiliary work.
Dr. Beena said the project would help safe and sustainable transport and was a green initiative. The completion of the project will also help coastal movement of cargo, including hazardous chemicals. The ro-ro facility will decongest roads, thereby minimising accidents.
The upgrading and modernisation of the Thoppumpady fisheries harbour is the second major project being undertaken by the CPT in the current fiscal, Dr. Beena said. The project has been approved by the Ministry of Ports and Shipping in March this year. There is a grant of ₹50 crore each from the Fisheries department and the Shipping Ministry for the harbour modernisation programme. Of this, ₹25 crore has already been released by the Fisheries department. Bids are expected to be called for by the end of April.
The modernisation of one of the biggest fisheries harbours in the State will involve establishment of state-of-the-art facilities on par with international standards. Temperature-controlled auction halls and mechanical retrieval and conveyance systems for 418 tonnes of fish per day will be part of the proposed facilities.
The modernisation initiative will not only help create hygienic conditions at the harbour but also boost seafood exports. The construction of the new facility is expected to generate around 14,000 man-days of work.