Mekapati takes part in struggle committee’s padayatra
The movement for the public sector sea port project at Ramayapatnam in Prakasam district has gathered steam with the main opposition party, the YSR Congress, rallying behind the Ramayapatnam Port Sadhana Committee that is gearing up for a “do-or-die battle” to achieve the demand.
Joining the padayatra from Kavali to Ramayapatnam, which was led by committee convener V. Venugopal Reddy on Saturday, YSR Congress MP from Nellore Mekapati Rajmohan Reddy said that though the State Reorganisation Act provided for setting up of the second major port on the east coast at Dugarajapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, it was unfortunate that the BJP-TDP combine took no initiative to take up the port project for reasons best known to them.
“If the Centre has any issue in developing the central port at Dugarajapatnam, it should opt for Ramayapatnam without causing any delay,” said the MP, who was also a member of the Parliamentary Committee on transport sector.
YSR Congress Whip in Parliament Y.V. Subba Reddy said that the Centre, which provided “lame excuses” for not granting Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, should have no problem in grounding the project at Ramayapatnam for which the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government had identified over 5,000 acres.
The Centre’s proposal to promote the Rs. 38,000 crore National Industrial and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) in Prakasam district would not be viable without a sea port at Ramayapatnam, which was also suitable for developing ship-building industry and spur growth in the backward parts of Prakasam and Nellore districts, he added.
“We will step up the stir for SCS as also the port project within and outside of Parliament,” he asserted.
With security, environmental, and viability issues dimming the prospects of a port at Dugarajapatnam, located close to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota and avian paradise Pulicat, the Centre had no alternative but to take up the project at Ramayapatnam, said Mr. Venugopala Reddy.
Kavali MLA R. Pratap Kumar Reddy opined that Ramayapatnam, which was just five km from road and rail networks, was best suited for the project unlike Dugarajapatnam.