A public sector port at Ramayapatnam is all set to become a reality with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre keen to anchor the port in this coastal village instead of Dugarajapatnam.
The Union Shipping Ministry has made up its mind to give a push to the project at an alternative site in view of security and environment concerns associated with the site in neighbouring Nellore district close to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and Pulicat lake, a save haven for migratory birds.
“Union Shipping Minister Mansukh L. Mandaviya is particular that public sector port in Andhra Pradesh should be taken up early. It is high time Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy acted fast in identifying the land for the project to spur port-led development in these parts,” BJP Rajya Sabha member G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told mediapersons during his visit to the sleepy village in Prakasam district.
“A positive sign is that YSRCP Parliamentary Party leader V. Vijayasai Reddy has also backed the demand for the port at Ramayapatnam in Parliament,” said Mr. Narasimha Rao, who took stock of the situation with the protagonists of the project in the coastal village on Friday.
YSRCP leaders from Nellore, including Nellore MP Adala Prabhakar Reddy and Kavali MLA Ramireddy Pratap Kumar Reddy made a common cause with former Ongole MP Y.V. Subba Reddy and Kandukur YSRCP MLA M. Mahidhar Reddy and declared their support for locating the project at Ramayapatnam as the prospects of a Central port at Duggirajapatnam diminished, Prakasam District Development Forum president Ch. Ranga Rao explained to the BJP Rajya Sabha member.
The project could not make any headway during the previous TDP regime as the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu did not respond to repeated letters from the Centre to suggest an alternative site to Dugarajapatnam as the site was found ‘economically unviable and technically infeasible’ by a team of experts. But it went ahead with laying the foundation stone for a non-major port (NMP) with private sector participation.
A change in government in the State augured well for the project.
Though the erstwhile Kiran Kumar Reddy Cabinet in united Andhra Pradesh recommended Ramayapatnam as it was favoured by experts who went into the suitability of Nakapalli and Dugarajapatnam as well, the then United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre overruled the State government’s recommendation and favoured Dugarajapatnam site at the time of bifurcation.
The district administration has identified about 3,000 acres of land at Ramayapatnam for the project.