PUDUCHERRY/CHENNAI:The Chennai Port Trust (CPT) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Puducherry government on Wednesday to develop Puducherry Port as a satellite port.
The MoU was signed by CPT chairman P Raveendran and Puducherry chief secretary Manoj Parida in the presence of Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy at New Delhi.
Raveendran said as per the MoU, CPT would assist Puducherry Port to handle export cargo through sea mode to Chennai Port for shipping to overseas destinations through mainline and feeder services.
Similarly, import cargo destined to Puducherry hinterland extending to locations like Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Tiruchy in the South, Salem, Namakkal and Villupuram in the West will be unloaded at Chennai Port and moved in coastal vessels to Puducherry Port, thus reducing logistics cost and easing road congestion.
While CPT would assist Puducherry Port in marketing, tariff fixation and other technical functions as and when needed, the latter on its part would dredge and maintain port facilities to enable handling of vessels of draft 3.5 mt. The move comes after Kamrajar Port, which was planning to acquire Puducherry Port, dropped it a couple of years ago.
A PIB release quoting Gadkari said the MoU would facilitate handling of EXIM cargo — to and from Puducherry hinterland through Chennai Port. Around 5 lakh to 10 lakh tonnes of cargo is expected to be handled. Once this arrangement becomes operational, road congestion would be reduced substantially with over 300 trucks going off road, bringing down pollution levels significantly.