The Weekend Leader - New Harbour May Cut Ship Time Between Andaman & Kolkata to 15 Hours From 72

New Harbour May Cut Ship Time Between Andaman & Kolkata to 15 Hours From 72

New Delhi


Photo: IANS

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), Sarbananda Sonowal, concluded his two-day visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands by visiting the strategically located Atlanta Bay, which has the potential of being developed into a bulk cargo transshipment hub, the government said on Friday.

The feasibility study for developing Atlanta Bay major Harbour is under process. It has a natural draft of 19/20 metres and is just a 50m distance in the sea. There is availability of a Natural break and it is well connected by road. Also, sufficient land can be reclaimed from the sea.

Currently a jetty with 5m draft is serving for berthing of inter-island vessels of 4m draft.

Considering its strategic location, in the northern side of A&N Islands, a 10m draft harbour is essential to promote high-end tourism and other essential purposes. Once developed the people of north & middle Andaman will benefit and the travel time between major ports at Andaman and Kolkata will be reduced from 72 hours to 15 hours, according to the official statement.

This transshipment hub is on the route from East and NE India to East and SE Asia, Australia-New Zealand countries. It is also on the route,of Coal, Sand & others construction materials, Iron ore etc., to Bangladesh and Myanmar. Once operationalised, the Bulk Cargo Transshipment Port will be economically beneficial for our country as well as to our neighbors. The proposed port is 565 Km from Yangoon; 765 Km from Sittwe; 1000 Km from Chittagong; 1100 Km from Kolkata; 1000 km from Barisal ,and 80Km from the Coco Island (the Chinese Defence base).

The Minister also took an aerial survey of International Container Transshipment Port (ICTP) a Sagarmala Project being developed at Galathea Bay and interacted with the various stakeholders, local residents and representatives yesterday. He also visited the Indira Point, the southernmost point of India's territory at Great Nicobar Island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and directed the concerned officials to explore the possibility of developing the Indira Point area as a tourism destination and develop required tourism amenities and facilities for the same.

In Great Nicobar Island he also visited Campbell Bay and reviewed the progress of the Berthing Jetty Extension project and later in the evening, he reviewed the various works done by ALHW at Port Blair and appreciated the work done in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands by them over last 5 decades. During the review, Sonowal also advised Andaman Lakshadweep Harbour Works (ALHW) to explore reputed construction firms to work in the Islands for completing the projects in time.

As many as 58 projects worth Rs. 7,622 crores in Andaman and Nicobar are being monitored under Sagarmala programme. 15 projects worth Rs. 469 crores are being funded under Sagarmala and Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).

With the initiative marked in Maritime India Vision 2030 it is planned to develop Andaman & Nicobar (A&N) islands and Lakshadweep Islands for tourism and other initiatives. Initially, development plans have been focused on job creation for locals through tourism promotion and export of locally made seafood and coconut-based products. In the first phase, these plans are being implemented in four islands of Andaman & Nicobar and five islands of Lakshadweep. In the second phase, suitable sites in 12 more islands of Andaman & Nicobar and 5 islands in Lakshadweep will be covered. - IANS

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