Hyderabad, Jan. 17
Maytas Infra has secured the mandate to develop a port at Machilipatnam with the State Cabinet formally approving a higher cost for construction.
Initially, the project was to be developed at Gogileru with an outlay of Rs 1,255 crore. With pressure from local people and political circles, the Cabinet approved the development of project at Machilipatnam, even though it means an additional investment of about Rs 300 crore.
The developers have been asked to go ahead with the project with an assurance that the Government would pitch in for the funds. As per proposals, the foundation stone for the port development is likely to be laid by the UPA Chairman, Ms Sonia Gandhi, in April.Functions
Addressing newspersons after the State Cabinet meeting here on Thursday, the State Information Minister, Mr Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, said the port is aimed at handling 12 million tonnes of cargo, which includes coal, fertilisers, cement and rice among others.
The port may also handle inputs for power plants and fertiliser units, and encourage ship building and repair. The Government is also evaluating a ultra mega power project here and may propose this to Centre.
When the expression of interest was issued, the project was to come up at Gogileru. However, those dependent on Machilipatnam port protested against the move to have the port at Gogileru, about 30 km from Machilipatnam.
The State Government had appointed a committee of secretaries to examine the issue on various technical parameters. The Committee may consider and recommend about additional cost for the developer, he explained.