Bandar Port, with over 2,000 years of historical importance in terms of imports and exports, will be revived very soon. With the state government’s decision to start port construction works, Machilipatnam area will regain its luster and people’s long-cherished dream will also come true.
According to higher authorities, construction works at Machilipatnam port would start this month. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will officially lay the foundation stone for port works to begin in Machilipatnam on May 22nd.
It should be noted that all kinds of obstacles, including finances, which had hampered port construction for years, were removed. The port received an environmental clearance from the Department of Environment and Forestry and received a loan of Rs 3,940 crore from Power Finance Corporation Limited for the construction of the port.
Speaking to The Hans India, MD Dr. Yellapragada Vidya Sankar of Machilipatnam Port Development Corporation Limited (MPDCL) that the port is operated by the MPDCL and is purely government funded. He announced that heavy machinery and other materials relevant to port construction were already being used in the port construction area. The port will be built in Phase-1 with a handling capacity of 35 MPA (million tons per year).
Machilipatnam Port, a greenfield port, is being developed by the AP Maritime Board (APMB). It has been revealed that APMB is currently conducting the development of three greenfield ports such as Ramayapatnam (Nellore district), Mulapeta (Srikakulam) and Machilipatnam (Krishna district) under the Landlord model as part of the plan to ensure full realization of the coastal hinterland potential .
Works at Ramayaptnam and Mulapeta have already started and the AP Maritime Board looks forward to the port works at Machilipatnam beginning. In fact, the government established a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and designated Machilipatnam Port Development Corporation Limited (MPDCL) for the development of Bandar Port by issuing GO No.7 in February 2020.
The administrative penalty for conducting the first phase of work is Rs 5,156 crore. RITES Ltd prepared a detailed project report and the port works were awarded to Megha Engineering & Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) and an agreement was reached on 26th August 2022 (with a contract value of Rs.3,668.08 crore).
Machilipatnam Port will be built in two phases. Four berths will be built in Phase 1, including 2 for general cargo, 1 for coal and another multipurpose/container yard. Port will be built on an area of 1,922 acres (core area 1688.84 acres, for external road and rail 234.14 acres) and the construction period is 30 months. When the port is built, fertilizer, coal, cooking oil, and containers will be imported and agricultural products, cement, cement clinker, granite blocks, and iron ore will be exported through this port.
People express mixed opinions
Although the state government is preparing to start port works in Machilipatnam, people are expressing mixed opinions and feelings on past experiences. Former CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy broke ground in April 2008 to begin port works at Machilipatnam. However, the work could not begin. Likewise, the then CM Nara Chandrababu Naidu laid the foundation stone for port work in March 2019 and this time the work did not start either. The two founding ceremonies took place before the parliamentary elections.
Similarly, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is currently laying the groundwork to begin port works in May. This is also an election year like the previous one. In light of this, people are expressing doubts as to whether the works will start this time or not.
Meanwhile, Collector P Raja Babu of Krishna District, MLA Perni Nani and Joint Collector Aparajitha Singh inspected the harbor construction area and program arrangements of the CM on Thursday.