Foundation stone to be laid for three terminals in India
Laying the foundation stone for a Rs. 492 crore second container terminal, an iron ore terminal at a cost of Rs. 500 crore, and a Rs. 350 crore coal terminal of the Ennore Port, will be some of the major highlights of the 125th year celebrations of the Chennai Port Trust to be inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on January 17. Giving details of the week-long celebrations at a news conference here on Saturday, Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, T.R. Baalu, said to commemorate the grand occasion, an international conference on Infrastructure Development in Port Sector and its Management' will be inaugurated by Pranab Mukherjee, Union Minister for External Affairs, along with Union Minister, G.K. Vasan, and Sitaram Yechuri, Member of Parliament, Prof. S. Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras, and D.T. Joseph, former Secretary, Shipping, addressing the convention. Issues concerning port connectivity, infrastructure modernisation and management will be discussed at length by experts from the Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Ports and other government organisations. Experts from the University of Singapore and Shanghai University will deliver special lectures. On January 19, the Tamil Nadu Minister for Rural Development and Local Administration, M.K. Stalin, will inaugurate the exhibition and port-public interface. Union Ministers - A. Raja, and E.V.K.S. Elangovan and Prof. M. Naganathan, Vice-Chairman, Planning Commission, Tamil Nadu Government, will participate. Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar will flag off a boat race exclusively for the fishermen community.
A net mending event for fisherwomen has also been planned along with a host of athletic events for boys and girls from the fishing fraternity. Earlier in the day, Mr. Baalu inaugurated two simulators costing Rs. 35 lakh each at the National Maritime Acdemy (NMA) at Uthandi on East Coast Road. "It is an integrated simulator facility which will go a long way in helping budding cadets," the Minister added. Referring to the proposed National Maritime University at Chemmencheri on the ECR, the Minister said the University would come up on a 300-acre site and efforts are on to speed up the project. On the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project, Mr. Baalu said dredging operations on the Palk Straits were progressing well. On December 11, dredging work on the Adams Bridge would begin with special dredging ship owned by the Dredging Corporation of India stationed there. On December 9, work on the Ninth Berth in Tuticorin Port costing Rs. 75 crore will also commence.
On the proposed grade separator at Koyambedu, Mr. Baalu said within the next 10 days work by the National Highways Authority of India would commence since compensation money to the tune of Rs. 75 crore for 155 affected persons would have been made by then.