Ship agents express concerns over slow pace of industrial projects in VOC Port

Office bearers of the association held a press conference as part of announcing its 70th year platinum jubilee celebrations on September 23.

Published: 21st September 2022 05:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2022 05:39 AM   |  A+A-

Tuticorin Ship Agents' Association members at a press conference in Thoothukudi | Express

By Express News Service

THOOTHUKUDI: Tuticorin Ship Agents' Association has expressed concerns over the slow pace at which the VO Chidambaranar port here is being developed into a transhipment hub, apart from other industrial projects in the southern districts. Office bearers of the association held a press conference as part of announcing its 70th year platinum jubilee celebrations on September 23.

Constitution of Committee advisor JP Joe Villavarayar said that the shipping industry has helped in developing VOC port into a container transshipment hub. "Despite being an all weather port and located strategically in the middle of the east-west international sea trade route, VOC port has long been ignored of development. Six international companies had evinced interest for the outer harbour project worth `7,164 crore in 2022, which was announced in the Parliament in 2013," he said.

Association president L Anand Morais said that Thoothukudi port was declared as a minor anchorage port in 1868 and became a major port in 1974. "It has been vital for industrial development in south India," he said. Villavarayer attributed the slow pace to tardy land acquisition and compensation disbursement by the departments concerned. 

"The work on the oil refinery project, cement factory project and the Udangudi thermal power plant project are very slow," he said. Villavarayer urged the state government to streamline the public hearing system so that the pros and cons of the proposed project could be discussed in a better way.

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