Port of Chennai to become hub for cruise tourism on east coast, says Shipping Minister Sonowal

The center has plans to make Chennai the hub for cruise tourism on the East Coast, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal said here on Sunday. For the first time in the history of the Port of Chennai, continuous cruise service was operated from June to September 2022, he said.

Sonowal was here to review the performance of the Chennai Port Trust and its subsidiary Kamarajar Port Ltd alongside senior officials including the ports’ chairman Sunil Paliwal. “We will make the port of Chennai a center for cruise tourism on the east coast,” Sonowal told reporters. Chennai Port and Cordelia Cruises signed a memorandum of understanding to promote cruise tourism in May 2022, he recalled.

According to Sonowal, 87,000 passengers from 37 cruise lines have visited the port of Chennai in recent years.

Later, in response to an inquiry, Paliwal said container ferry services between Chennai and Puducherry had started on a small scale, with containers being the main cargo.

Speaking on the launch of passenger ferry services between Chennai Port and Puducherry, he said: “This will be a tourist ferry as traveling from Chennai to Puducherry is much faster by road. But a tourist ferry between the two cities will be more of a pleasure. We are already talking to some companies.

Referring to the Chennai-Maduravoyal high corridor project, Sonowal said it is expected to be awarded in June 2023. The project was revived by the union government to ease traffic congestion in Chennai port.

The National Highways Authority of India, the Port of Chennai, the Tamil Nadu government and the Indian Navy worked closely to make the project a reality, he said.

Earlier in the day, Sonowal reviewed the workings of the National Institute of Siddha and the Central Council for Research in Siddha and opened a Siddha herbal plant and millet exhibit in the city.

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