VIJAYAWADA: Four years after laying the foundation for construction of Machilipatnam deep water port, the state government, which took the decision to allot land on Tuesday, strategically a day ahead of chief ministerâ€™s visit to Machilipatnam, has on Wednesday issued a GO ordering the revenue department to provide 5,324 acres to the director of Kakinada port.
According to the GO, the land would be jointly identified by the
director of ports, Krishna district collector and chief commissioner of land administration. The order also authorises the handover 1,623 acres of government land, out of 5,324 acres, as advance possession. Though the government had earlier decided to allot 6,200 acres according to express of interest notification, it has now decided to allot only 5,324 acres after recommendations by director of ports and Indian Port Association (IPA), a nodal agency for development of all major ports under the shipping ministry. The IPA after study of traffic, potentiality, warehouses, container, freight stations, rail or road connectivity and others suggested optimal requirement of 4,800 acres. The director of ports, Kakinada had proposed 5,324 acres.
It may be recalled that the late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy had laid the foundation for the construction of the project on April 23, 2008, with at an estimated first phase budget of `1,590 cr and the construction of the port was originally awarded to a consortium lead by Mytas Infra the same month. The agreement was cancelled by the state government due to some â€˜technicalâ€™ reasons and the government made an agreement with Machilipatnam Port Ltd, Hyderabad (a consortium of Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd, Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd and associates/affiliates of Navayuga company) and signed a contract on June 6, 2010.
Since the MPL had demanded the government allot more land than the governmentsâ€™ decision, land was not handed over to the company.
Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy held an all-party meeting on August 17 last year and he had reportedly assured everyone that construction work would be taken up at the earliest.
Denouncing the delay in taking up the construction, the locals who had formed the Bandar Port Sadhana Samithi, have been on a relay hunger strike, since December 15, 2010. They had observed a bandh on April 27, 2012, the 500th day of their stir. The sadhana samithi was formed by all party leaders including, Machilipatnam MP and TDP leader K Narayana Rao. Meanwhile, the chief minister who visited Machilipatnam during prajapatham on Wednesday stated that the port would be constructed in 5,324 acres, with an outlay of Rs 5,000 cr under the PPP mode.
Giving an explanation for the delay in announcement, he said that his government wanted to construct the port in a transparent manner without controversies. Some decisions taken by the previous government on land allotments have now become controversial. Many cases are with the CBI court, high court and other courts. We do not want to create controversies in land allotment to the Bandar Port. The work should never be stopped anymore, once it begins. Hence, we have cleared all hurdles and issued the GO, the chief minister said.