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A new port for Chennai gets ready to function

Chennai, July 27 () : Yet another port comes up for Chennai. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has cleared Larsen and Toubro’s Kattupalli port near Chennai as a transshipment facility. Soon it will be ready for Export and Import (EXIM) trade.

This was revealed by Mala Srivatsav, Chief Commissioner of Customs, Chennai who said that the department has notified the port for transshipment already and soon it will be notified for Export and Import trade soon.

Shipyard-cum-port at Kattupalli, about 32 km north of Chennai is built by Larsen & Toubro, in association with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd .

The Rs. 4,675-crore project is being executed by L&T Shipbuilding Ltd. Though the facility was ready since January 2012, commercial operations could not commence as they were waiting for Customs notification.

Kattupalli port comes between the two major ports— Chennai and Ennore. The notification under section 7 of the Customs Act issued by the Union Finance Ministry allows Kattupalli port now to unload imported goods in containers for transshipment and load goods transshipped in containers for exports.

The shipyard, 20 km off the shores of Pazhaverkadu in Kattupalli village in Tiruvallur district, is a joint venture between the State government and L&T.
The project was started in 2010 and the company deposited stone gravels to the length of 1.5 kms into the sea, making it difficult since fishing waters were very shallow. Local fishermen said it caused environmental problems making fishing activities risky and leaving about 10,000 fishermen jobless. The fishermen estimate that the loss according to annual revenue from prawn culture in these waters goes up to anywhere between Rs 5 crore and Rs 10 crore.

Agitated over the activities of L&T , the fishermen and their leaders listed their grievances to the company officials in the presence of tahsildar and revenue divisional officer. The fishermen at a tripartite meeting held in the presence of the Tiruvallur Collector and the villagers were promised 1,750 jobs due to the loss of fishing activities.

Since L&T top brass did not stick to their promise, irate villagers from the 15 villages blocked the road in front of the shipyard. Police intervened to clear the area.

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