Hyderabad: Another major port will dot the vast coastline of Andhra Pradesh if the government’s plans materialise. Visakhapatnam is the sole major port on the 996-km coastline of the state. As the state has a vast potential for handling foreign trade through sea route, the state government has approached the Centre with a proposal for a second major port when the central government announced its maritime agenda for the next decade (2010-20) some time ago.
Three places were shortlisted for the proposed port - Nakkapalli in Visakhapatnam district, Ramayapatnam in Prakasam district and Duggirajapatnam in Nellore district. A high-level central committee visited the three places in the last six months and the final selection is expected in a couple of months.
Ramayapatnam seems to stand a good chance as the other two have run into some objections. While there is already a major port in Visakhapatnam, Nellore has a developing port in the form of Krishnapatnam. Further, there are security concerns reportedly being expressed by ISRO and the defence officials as SHAR is near to Duggirajapatnam and Nakkapalli is close to Naval headquarters in Vizag.
If Ramayapatnam is finalised, it will mean a lost opportunity regained for Prakasam district as VANPIC, the major project proposed covering the district got embroiled in a land acquisition controversy making its grounding doubtful.
Two more mini ports, each at Bhavanapadu and Kalingapatnam in Srikakulam district, are also on the cards as the government is keen on giving a push to mini ports by inviting private participation. According to sources, the tender notification for the two mini ports will be issued shortly. Development of these two ports will be a big boost to the backward north Andhra district.