Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has instructed officials to make special efforts to reach top position in cargo handling and develop greenfield commercial ports at strategic locations across the coastal line in the State.During a teleconference with higher officials of Industry and Infrastructure departments on Monday, the Chief Minister said that he wants Andhra Pradesh to be developed as the most preferred destination on port-related activities in the country.
According to him, the State has become a major destination in attracting port-related investments owing to the prevailing investor-friendly climate. “The ports in the State have grown at 15 per cent year-on-year from 131 MMT to 150 MMT in 2018. Of which, ports under the administrative control of the State government have grown from 69.6 MMT to 86.3 MMT, achieving a growth of 24 per cent,” he explained.
The minor ports have grown at 26 per cent and the cargo traffic figures from April 2017 to September 2017 and April 2018 to September 2018 are 41.8 MMT and 52.6 MMT respectively. “The figures are indicating that AP will be a vibrant port State in the future. I have no doubt that AP will become an efficient gateway for export and imports and coastal traffic. The State is already moving proactively towards establishing a new port,” Naidu said.
Stating that the State has a coastline stretching 974 km, the second longest in India, and strategically located on India’s Eastern seaboard, the Chief Minister said that it was the biggest advantage to develop the State as a destination for global investments.“The progress has been made only because of the relentless efforts of our government. The rapid development in ports will generate employment to lakhs of youth in nine districts. It will also propel the overall development of the State,” he said. The efforts of the State government to create world-class infrastructure and provide uninterrupted quality power supply and water supply to all regions would spur industrialisation in all districts and generate employment, he opined.
Principal Secretary (Investment and Infrastructure) Ajay Jain said that Kakinada SEZ Limited was declared as the successful bidder in developing ‘KSEZ Port’ at Kona village in Thondangi mandal of East Godavari district in the Swiss Challenge process. The proposed KSEZ port would be connected to the Industrial hinterland of North Andhra Pradesh, Southern Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Eastern Maharashtra. “This heralds a new beginning of industrialisation for Kakinada region.
The port is expected to benefit surrounding villages and region which get maximum benefits such as upcoming industries, direct and indirect employment, skill development opportunities to the employable youth. About 1,250 direct jobs and around 1,500 indirect jobs will be created. During the operational phase, the port is likely to generate 1,000 jobs.