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Dedicated jetty to be built for Lakshadweep at Mangaluru Old Port

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MANGALURU : The tender process for the construction of a dedicated jetty for the handling of cargo and a cruise terminal for ships bound for Lakshadweep at the Old Port of the city has concluded. The project is now awaiting approval from the environmental committee and SEZ.

The administration of the Lakshadweep Union Territory expressed interest in enhancing connectivity between the islands and Mangaluru Old Port. The Karnataka Maritime Board has decided to construct a dedicated jetty at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore, as announced in the budget for the fiscal year 2022-23. The Union government forwarded the proposal to Sagaramala Kosha, and the Ministry for Ports, Shipping, and Water Transport released Rs 65 crore on July 20, 2022, for the first phase of construction.

The plan includes building a 303.6-meter-long cargo-handling berth and a 76-meter passenger terminal berth on the north side of the Old Port. The cargo berth will occupy an area of 9,800 square feet, while the passenger berth will cover 6,000 square feet. The passenger cruise lounge will feature security systems, waiting areas, exbis scanners, ticket counters, hotels, shops, washrooms, and arrival and departure areas. On the first floor, a waiting area for passengers, the Lakshadweep Port office, an auditorium, restrooms, and washrooms will be constructed.

The northern part of the Old Port, which belongs to the Ministry of Ports and Internal Water Transport, currently has a ferry to Bengre and a petrol pump, both of which will be relocated. The Lakshadweep administration has signed an MOU with the Karnataka government under the grant of the Union government. The Karnataka government will construct the jetty and hand it over to Lakshadweep UT for future maintenance.

Currently, the only cargo route to Lakshadweep from Mangaluru is through a cargo dhow. While a ship operated before Covid, obtaining permits and tickets required going to Cochin, which has since been discontinued. The cruise liner from Calicut port has also been halted. Presently, the only available cruise liner to Lakshadweep is from Cochin.

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