VIJAYAWADA: Dugarajapatnam Port in Nellore district appears to have hit a road block. Though it has been promised in the AP State Reorganisation Act, 2014, it is not clear when the Central government would redeem it.
The main problem the Centre is facing with respect of the port is that necessary land has not yet acquired by the state government. “The port needs approximately 1,000 acres of land, but so far, nothing has happened on this front,” highly placed sources said.
The state government has expressed its inability to fund land acquisition as it is hard up for money. This made the Centre come out with an offer of funding the land acquisition and asked the latter to begin the process but the state government has not come around to it.
“The state government’s priorities are different. For us it may be important but for the state which is the agency for land acquisition, it does not appear to be on its priorities list,” a senior BJP leader said, adding that unless the state government acquires the land and hands it over to the Centre, we cannot do anything.
Dugarajapatnam Port is a proposed seaport under the control of the Union government. It was estimated to cost `8,000 crore and it is proposed to be set up under Indian Companies Act 1956 with equity participation from the state government.
When the project was envisaged during the erstwhile Congress regime in the state, it ran into rough whether with objections being raised as Pulicat Lake and ISRO’s rocket launching station at Srihari Kota are very close by. There was objection from the ministry of forests for denotifying the land for construction of the project.
But in due course of the time, the issues were ironed out and now the only stumbling bloc is money for acquisition of land. “As the Centre has agreed to fund the land acquisition, I see no reason why it should be delayed. It is because, at present, the state government is busy with the construction of capital city,” the BJP leader said.
But there is hope that the project would come through sooner than later. “I met Union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari and sought his intervention for grounding of the works. He advised me to approach him through Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu who hails from Nellore district. But it appears Naidu has not yet discussed the issue with Gadkari,” former Congress MP Chinta Mohan, who has been agitating for the port, told Express.