PM inaugurates Vallarpadam Int Container Terminal in Kochi

India's first International Container Trans-shipment Terminal (ICTT) in the Special Economic Zone at nearby Vallarpadam Island is inaugurated to the nation by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday. The total cost of the first and second phase of the terminal is pegged at around Rs 6,250 crore. When completed, the terminal will be able to handle 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of cargo per annum. The first phase of the project is ready to handle one million TEUs per annum. The project will be operated by Dubai Port World (DPW) and aims to make Kochi a key centre in the shipping world, reducing India's dependence on foreign ports to handle trans-shipment requirements, Cochin Port sources said.
Once fully developed, the ICTT, a part of the expansion project at the Cochin Port, would be the largest individual terminal in India. As part of the project, India's longest railway bridge 4.62 km long was set up over the Vembanad Lake, thereby establishing rail connectivity to Vallarpadam from the mainland. Port sources said ICTT will generate additional employment opportunities, facilitate investment flow to the tune of Rs 7,500 crore and help in the development of port-based industries to transform Kochi into an economic hub. However, the project is being commissioned at a time when the 326 families that were evicted for setting up the terminal at Vallarpadam are yet to get a roof over their head.