ALAPPUZHA: The significance of Alappuzha as a port destination faded eons ago. But now, the `385 crore port-cum-marina project may help the district regain its place on the maritime map. The only box left to tick now is the environmental clearance certificate.
The Environmental Impact Assessment is in the final stage and the state Ports Department is expecting to begin the construction of the port this year.Port Officer Abraham V Kuriakose hoped the EIA would be given at the earliest. “The state government has approved the project and allocated `7.5 crore in the last budget. Its aim is to attract light cargo ships and mini cruise ships to Alappuzha to enhance the tourism/business potential of the old port town,” he said.
“A private agency has prepared a project costing `385 crore. The state government has already developed a coastal shipping route from Thiruvananthapuram to Kozhikode and Alappuzha is one of the destinations on the route. Facilities to attract tourists will also be included in it,” Abraham said. The Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation has been entrusted conducting the EIA. Cyriac Davies MD, KITCO, said the EIA was almost completed.
“The public hearing will be arranged in a few weeks. After that the project will be submitted to the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). The approval of the SEIAA is needed for beginning the construction. The entire process will be completed in a few months,” he said. Davies said the feasibility study and project report were completed a few years ago.
Stop at Alappuzha
The government has already taken steps to begin a high-speed hydrofoil service from Kochi to Kozhikode. Soon, the service will be extended to T’Puram and Alappuzha will be a stopover on the route.