India in talks with Russia to open Chennai-Vladivostok Sea Corridor Project: Sarabananda Sonowal

India is negotiating with Russia to open the Chennai-Vladivostok sea corridor, which aims to strengthen sea ties between the two countries, Union Minister Sarabananda Sonowal said on Sunday. The Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, who was here to review the performance of the ports of Chennai and Kamarajar, opened up a series of projects worth Rs 148 crore.

India is in talks with Russia to open the Chennai-Vladivostok sea corridor, he said at the event. The talks between the two countries are aimed at boosting maritime trade, he said.

“Lead by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India reaffirms its commitment to rejuvenate its trade and investment potential to fuel India’s growth,” he said.

“This corridor will serve this purpose and serve as a channel for growth and investment cooperation between two historic cities with rich maritime history – Chennai and Vladivostok – of the two countries,” he said.

Sonowal later opened three new projects valued at Rs 56 crore in Chennai Port and another project valued at Rs 92 crore in Kamarajar Port.

“These two ports have performed well over the past four years, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has placed particular emphasis on transformation initiatives in sectors such as ports, airways and railways,” Sonowal told reporters.

Sonowal unveiled four plaques commemorating the inauguration of the projects at an event at Chennai Port.

The minister said as a result of the center’s focus on ports, cargo throughput at ports across the country has doubled to 1,650 million tons a year in the past nine years, up from 800 million tons.

In Tamil Nadu, both Chennai and Kamarajar ports have fared much better, showing annual growth, he said.

“The projects inaugurated today (in the ports of Chennai and Kamarajar) will improve the efficiency of the ports and also increase the capacity,” he said.

When asked, he said that the two ports had set themselves the goal of handling 100 million tons of freight in the current financial year.

“In FY2022-23, Kamarajar Port achieved the second highest growth among 12 major ports. Chennai Port has taken many initiatives to attract container traffic in a highly competitive environment,” he said.

On the Ministry’s Sagarmala program, he said on the total number of projects that there are 108 projects worth Rs 1.46 lakh crore in different stages of implementation in Tamil Nadu.

The three projects inaugurated by Sonowal at Chennai Port Trust include the construction of bunker berths under the Sagarmala program, the development of a goods shed at Jolarpet and the establishment of a sewage treatment plant, according to a press release.

At the port of Kamarajar, the minister inaugurated the widening and concreting of the port access road as part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline initiative. This project aimed to allow for smooth evacuation of cargo and better road connectivity to the port, the press release said.

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