State puts Ramayapatnam port project on back burner

Vijayawada: After the Centre rejected the idea of setting up a major port at Ramayapatnam in Prakasam district last year, the state government, too, seems to be in no mood to set up a non-major or minor port there. Interestingly, earlier while the Centre was committed to setting up a major port at Dugarajapatnam, which was mentioned in the AP Reorganisation Act, the state government had wanted a similar port at Ramayapatnam.

According to highly placed sources in the state infrastructure and investments department, although the state government had ambitious plans regarding port-led development in the district, but for the time being it has shelved the proposal to develop a greenfield non-major port at Ramayapatnam.

“As of now, we have decided to put the proposal to set up a non-major port at Ramayapatnam on hold. We may take up the project in future, but that would depend upon the market conditions and demand,” a senior government official told TOI.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the selection of technical consultant for preparation of techno-economic feasibility report for Ramayapatnam port was issued by the Infrastructure Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (INCAP) in February 2015 and RITES limited had been selected to conduct the techno-economic feasibility studies for the port. The studies were completed subsequently and an interim report was also submitted to the state government. But no further development has taken place since.

The economic slowdown across the world, poor market conditions and objections raised by neighbouring Krishnapatnam port in Nellore district are said to have prompted the state government’s decision to shelve the plan for the time being.

The Krishnapatnam Port had earlier raised objections that Ramayapatnam falls under the exclusive zone granted to the former by the state government. The concession agreement the then state government had signed with Krishnapatnam port said that no party other than the concessionaire (Krishnapatnam Port Co) shall have the right to develop a new port within 30 km of either side of Krishnapatnam port limits during the concession period under this agreement.

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