Chennai

Chennai Port gets a new cruise terminal

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Built at a cost of ₹17.24 crore, with the objective of boosting tourism

Chennai Port’s modernised cruise terminal was inaugurated on Friday. Built at a cost of ₹17.24 crore, it offers a host of amenities to cater to cruise tourists and liners.

Sprawling over 2,880 sq. metres, the terminal will have 10 immigration counters and another 10 in due course.

It can seat 168 passengers on the first floor and 132 on the ground floor and comes with a high-end security system that includes baggage scanners.

“On an average, the port used to received 4-5 cruise ships a year but due to the [modernisation work], the port gets only 2-3 ships. Now that this terminal is ready, we expect the number to go up. Also, we should ensure procedures like immigration and customs are seamless and passengers don’t have any difficulties. The standard operating procedures are in place but we have to see how they are implemented,” an official said.

Grants sought

The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced that at five major sea ports — Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Mormugao and Mangalore — there will no requirement for biometric enrolment of cruise passengers who visit on an e-visa, up to 31 December 2020.

The State needs ₹500 crore from the Centre for improving tourism-related infrastructure, Tamil Nadu Minister for Tourism Vellamandi N. Natarajan said.

Speaking at the inauguration of the terminal, he said that for four years Tamil Nadu had consistently topped in attracting domestic and international tourists and requested the grants to enable the State to showcase its destinations better.

Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan said Chennai Port had grown over years, but for it to emerge as the number one in the country, some issues would have to be addressed.

“Especially the Port-Maduravoyal project needs to be cleared and we hope the foundation stone will be laid for this project soon,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 5:52:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-port-gets-a-new-cruise-terminal/article25209718.ece

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