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CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy pushes for better port infrastructure to boost economy

NELLORE: Andhra Pradesh will add four more ports to its existing six, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said, adding they will boost the economy, employment opportunities and overall development.

Speaking after performing the Bhoomi Puja for the Ramayapatnam Port at Mondivaripalem village in Nellore on Wednesday, he said that the government has acquired 850 acres for the first phase of the port’s construction, which would be taken up with an estimated cost of Rs 3,700 crore.

“Initially, four berths will be constructed. Six more berths will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore each. Four berths will have a cargo handling capacity of 25 million tonnes, which will be hiked up to 50 million tonnes based on the requirement,” he explained.

Emphasising the need for developing ports and fishing harbours, Jagan announced that Bhoomi Puja for the other ports would be performed within two months and that operations would commence in the next five years.

He asserted that each port would provide indirect employment to lakhs of people as the government would also set up nine fishing harbours besides the four ports: Bhavanapadu, Kakinada Gateway Port, Machilipatnam and Ramayapatnam. He explained that each fishing harbour would provide job opportunities one lakh fishermen.

He said works at Budagatlapalem, Pudimadaka, Uppada, Biyyaputhippa, Machilipatnam, Nizampatnam, Odarevu, Kothapatnam and Juvvaladinne fishing harbours have picked up pace.

Pointing out that the ports would help in the development of the regions, generation of revenue and creation of employment, Jagan said, “Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Mumbai were developed into major cities as they have sea ports. They (proposed ports) will help in development of the State in various aspects.”

Stating that his government brought in an Act for providing 75 per cent employment opportunities to local youth in the industries, Jagan said nearly 3,000-4,000 local youth would get job opportunities at each port in the State. Besides the Visakhapatnam Port, the five ports in the State have a cargo handling capacity of 158 million tonnes. The Vizag port could handle 70 million tonnes.

Jagan criticised former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for laying the foundation stone for the Ramayapatnam Port in February 2019 without any detailed project report and land acquisition plan with an eye on elections.

Responding to the issues raised by local MLAs, the CM announced Rs 25 crore for the construction of a bypass road in Kandukur and sanctioned Rs 27 crore for the extension of Rallapadu right canal to irrigate 8,500 acres. Jagan also allotted a permanent building for a primary healthcare centre at Ulavapadu and asserted that he would develop the Kandukuru municipality.

He thanked the villagers of Mondivaripalem, Avulavaripalem, Karlapalem, Ravuru, Chevuru, Salipeta and others for giving their lands to develop the port. Earlier, he offered prayers to the sea by offering silk robes and flowers as part of the Bhoomi Puja. He unveiled the pylon at the village.