Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dedicates to the nation the International Container Transhipment Terminal at Cochin
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Kerala with its huge diaspora of skilled enterprising workers, doctors and other professionals could become the gateway for investments from countries like the UAE.
He was speaking after inaugurating India’s first international container transshipment terminal on Vallarpadam Island close to Kochi on Friday morning. This flagship project symbolizes the suitability of public-private partnership projects in building infrastructure in India. The Vallarpadam terminal will meet the need for a global hub port and a transshipment facility, the absence of which had put our trade at a disadvantage, he said.
Mr Singh said that about 60 per cent of India’s export-import containers are transshipped through ports like Singapore and Colombo. The transshipment cost incurred is U.S. $ 300 per container. Indian business will save this money and also considerable time though the new facility at Vallarpadam.
He also called for the use of inland waterways to transport cargo, since this is an environment-friendly and energy-efficient mode of transport. The others who were present include Chief Minister V S Achutanandan; Defence Minister A K Antony; Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi; Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways C P Joshi; Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan; Union Minister of State for Home Mullapaly Ramachandran, Union Minister of State for Agriculture K V Thomas; Union Minister of State for Power K C Venugopal; Governor R S Gawai and the Chairman of Cochin Port Trust N Ramachandran.