CHENNAI : India is in discussion with Russia to inaugurate the Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor aimed at boosting maritime ties between the two countries, Union Minister Shri Sarabananda Sonowal said on Sunday. The minister of ports, shipping and waterways, who was here to review the performance of Chennai Port and Kamarajar Port, inaugurated a slew of projects worth Rs 148 crore.
India was in talks with Russia to open the Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor, he said at the event. The discussion between the two countries was aimed at bolstering maritime trade, he said.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India affirms its commitment to rejuvenate its trade and investment potential to propel the growth of India,” he said.
“This corridor will serve this purpose, acting as a conduit of growth and investment cooperation between two historic cities with rich marine history — Chennai and Vladivostok — of the two countries,” he said.
Sonowal later inaugurated three new projects worth Rs 56 crore at Chennai Port and another project at Kamarajar Port worth Rs 92 crore.
“These two ports are performing well in the last four years and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been giving special emphasis on transformational initiatives in sectors like ports, airways and railways.” Sonowal told reporters.
Sonowal unveiled four plaques commemorating the inauguration of the projects at an event held at Chennai Port.
The Minister said as a result of the focus given to the ports by the Centre, in the past nine years the cargo handling among the ports across the country doubled to 1,650 million metric tonne per annum as against 800 million metric tonne.
In Tamil Nadu, both Chennai and Kamarajar Ports have been performing much better and have recorded year-on-year growth, he said.
“The projects inaugurated today (at Chennai and Kamarajar Ports) will enhance efficiency of the ports and also enhance the capacity,” he said.
To a query, he said the two ports have set a target to handle 100 million metric tonne of cargo during the current financial year.
“In FY-2022-23, Kamarajar Port achieved second highest growth among 12 major ports. Chennai Port has taken a lot of initiatives to attract container traffic in a highly competitive environment” he said.
On the Ministry’s Sagarmala programme, he said of the total projects, 108 projects worth Rs 1.46 lakh crore were under various stages of implementation in Tamil Nadu.
The three projects inaugurated by Sonowal at Chennai Port Trust include construction of bunker berths under the Sagarmala programme, development of goods shed at Jolarpet and setting up of a sewage treatment plant, a press release said.
At Kamarajar Port, the minister inaugurated the widening and concreting of the port access road under the National Infrastructure Pipeline initiative. This project was aimed at providing hassle-free evacuation of cargo and better road connectivity to the port, the release said.