The proposed Colachel port at Enayam in Kanniyakumari district is expected to open up a sea of opportunities for south Tamil Nadu in terms of creation of jobs, growth in trade and industry. It may also bring down cost of production and provide a fillip for the ‘Make in India’ initiative. It brings with it some of the advantages of the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, which envisaged a route for mother vessels on the east coast.
Enayam port will more than make up for the absence of connectivity to the busy East-West Trade Route for the east coast. It will function as a transhipment hub by attracting mother vessels on the international shipping lane, which now berth at Colombo and Singapore.
According to Ministry of Shipping estimates, about 25 per cent of Indian containerised ocean cargo is transhipped at international ports like Colombo and Singapore. Colombo accounted for 48 per cent of Indian international cargo, Singapore 22 per cent and Port Klang 10 per cent. “For the first time, a huge investment of Rs. 25, 000 crore is to be made in south Tamil Nadu on a single infrastructure development project. It will transform the landscape of the region by facilitating trade and industrial development, employment generation and enhanced tourist traffic,” says S. Rethinavelu, senior president, Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Tamil Nadu stands to gain a lot from the project as the strategic location of Enayam at 14 nautical miles away from East-West Trade Route will augment movement of crude and petroleum products, coal and iron ore and trigger development of allied industries. Chemicals, food products, textiles, cement and agro products from the State can now have Enayam as the export gateway, with a huge reduction in transhipment cost.
‘It will transform the landscape of the region by facilitating trade and industrial development’