AP and Central governments disagree on port location

Vastavam web: Andhra Pradesh is on the verge of losing a major port in government sector because of disagreement between AP and Central governments over its location. While AP promises to allot land at Ramayapatnam in Prakasam district, the Centre refuses it and instead asks for 3,000 acres at Vadarevu beach vicinity near Ongole in the same district.

Regardless of this, Union Shipping, Highways, Road Transport and Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari announced his Ministry’s readiness to develop the port at Vadarevu if the State comes forward to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). The Union Ministry’s argument is that there is already lot of land available at Vadarevu which was originally proposed for development as a big port at the time of YS Rajasekhara Reddy government. About 13,000 acres of land was acquired for development of two sea ports and an industrial corridor from Vadarevu in Prakasam district to Nizampatnam in Guntur district at that time.

That project was named as Vadarevu and Nizampatnam Industrial Corridor (VANPIC). Under this, the CBI investigated the corruption charges and found that VANPIC’s Nimmagadda Prasad made Rs. 854 cr investments in Jagan’s related companies in return for allotment of lands to VANPIC. The project was eventually shelved and the land was lying vacant all these years.

Dugarajapatnam port site was another alternative but the Centre has already dismissed it as unviable commercially and due to presence of sensitive Pulicat lake in its surroundings. Actually, the then Congress government included this port as one of the major promises in AP Reorganisation Act 2014. As regards the paper mill, there is land available in privately-built Krishnapatnam port area. However, the government and management proposed a separate port that would meet exclusively cater to its cargo and trade needs.