THOOTHUKUDI: The proposed Enayam International Container Trans-shipment Terminal (EICTT) project has been cancelled as officials have found an alternative location for executing the project. A strategically viable location between Keelamanakudi and Kovalam villages near Kanniyakumari has been opted for, said I Jayakumar, Chairman of Thoothukudi VO Chidambaranar Port during a press meet held on Thursday. Deputy Chairman S Natarajan and VOC port advisor Veeramuthumani were present at the meeting.
Jayakumar said that the proposed location had no public habitation and the land acquisition too was less compared to Enayam Port plan. The international container transshipment terminal can be established on a stretch of 2.4 kilometre, along the high-tide shore line
between Keelamanakudi and Kovalam villages, hardly four kilometre from Kanniyakumari Railway
Station. The proposed terminal would be 500 metre away from the villages on either side, and so public displacement was not required. However, 30 hectare would be needed for developing roads, he said.
The strategic advantage of the new location includes stable coastline, availability of 20 metre depth close to shore, road and rail connectivity, easy construction and expansion, besides, low environmental and social impact. On hassle-free transportation of goods, Jayakumar said that a flyover for 3.6 kilometre from the terminal would connect the NH7 and the railway track would be laid underneath the it, he added.
Detailing the technical aspects, he said that the sea depth between Keelamanakudi and Kovalam villages was on an average 14 - 18 metre. Dredging for 20 metre depth would be needed so that the large vessels plying on East-West trade routes could access the terminal. The project would extend two kilometres inside the sea and would come up on estimated 217 hectares of reclaimed land and 425 hectares of water area. The terminal would house eight berths.
An international container transshipment terminal in Kanniyakumari district could save crore annually as India’s transshipped cargoes were handled by ports outside India. “Indian port industry loses nearly `1,500 crore every year on transshipment handling of cargo,” said Jayakumar. The International shiping route is 14 nautical miles away from the proposed new location. The transshipment of cargoes of ships plying on East-West trade route, which is currently handled at Colombo in Sri Lanka, can be diverted to India, which could contribute a major share of forex to Indian exchequer, he added.
An international container transshipment terminal in Kanniyakumari district could save crore annually as India’s transshipped cargoes were handled by ports outside India