Puducherry Legislative Assembly Estimate committee and Public accounts committee today recommended that the Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi should work with the elected government for ensuring the implementation of Port project, that has been mired in controversy. The project envisages cargo movement through the port as a satellite port of Chennai Port Trust.
After inspection of the Port by the committees comprising of eight MLAs from AIADMK, AINRC, DMK and Congress, following deficiencies pointed out by the Lt Governor and civil society activists, Chairperson of the Estimate Committee A Anbazhagan (AIADMK) said that whatever deficiencies exist in the commencement of the project , should be redressed.
After a long gap, Puducherry was granted this project by the Union Ministry of Shipping. The project is important for the development of Puducherry and should not be scuttled citing the shortcomings, he said. After having on the spot assessment on the present state of affair of the project the committees directed the officials to expedite the necessary works.
All necessary clearances including the environmental clearance and CRZ regulation clearance if required for the port operations should be obtained immediately.
The committees which visited the confluence of the Port channel and Upper drain and Grand canal where sewage is being discharged into the Port channel recommended treatment of sewage before discharging.
Steps should be taken to remove accumulated sewage and silt at the estuary without disturbing the environment. The departments of PWD, Local Administration, Fisheries and Tourism should jointly take up the work to desilt the estuary and treat the sewage water.
The garbage accumulated in the Port area following desilting of the Port channel should be removed and cleared.
The committee also recommended construction of a bypass road from Port to Malapalam junction for movement of container lorries, said Anbazhagan.
DMK legislator R Siva who heads the Public Accounts committee blamed the officials for the slow pace of work for implementation of the Port project.
The officials are sluggish and need to give utmost cooperation to expedite all the work for the commencement of the Port operations.
The agreement with Chennai Port Trust was executed about four months back (March 15), said Anbazhagan and questioned the officials on their failure to get the necessary infrastructure in place. He said that the government should immediately appoint a Port Director.