TUTICORIN: The proposed Enayam International Container Trans-shipment Terminal (EICTT) project has been cancelled as officials have found an alternative location for executing the project, according to senior Govt officials.
A strategically viable location between Keelamanakudi and Kovalam villages near Kanyakumari has been opted for, according to Mr I Jeyakumar, Chairman of VO Chidambaranar Port Trust. Mr Jeyakumar stated:
“The international container transhipment 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 Kanyakumari 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.
Dredging for 20 metre depth would be needed so that the large vessels plying on East-West trade routes could access the terminal. The terminal would house eight berths.
An international container transhipment terminal in Kanyakumari district could save crore annually as India’s transhipped cargoes were handled by ports outside India.
“Indian port industry loses nearly Rs 1,500 crore every year on transhipment handling of cargo,” said Mr Jeyakumar. The International shipping route is 14 nautical miles away from the proposed new location.
The transhipment 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.