Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Friday expressed dissatisfaction over the state of affairs at Indian Maritime University, located on the outskirts of Chennai.
To a question on the problems faced by the university since its inception, and the truncated tenures of its Vice-Chancellors, including K. Ashok Vardhan Shetty who resigned recently, Mr. Gadkari said he had expected a lot from the university.
“Now, we are looking for a candidate to succeed Mr. Shetty with an exposure to global economics and international development in shipping and port sector. We need a leader at the university who can lead the country by new innovation, new research, and skill development. We are trying for that,” he said.
On whether the location of major ports in Chennai and Tiruvallur in Tamil Nadu and the adjoining district of Nellore (Andhra Pradesh) in close proximity would create problems in the long run, the Union Minister pointed out that this would not be the case as “there exists a huge potential”.
The transaction cost in India was much higher than that of China, he said, and the cost could be reduced only if the number of ports went up, paving the way for greater exports.
On the Colachel or Enayam port in Kanniyakumari district, which would be a major transshipment facility, the Union Minister said he was willing to provide concessions to fishermen in the area.
Indicating how Enayam was suitable for a port, he said the area had a deeper “natural draught” of 18 metres. In this context, he mentioned that he had instructed all ports to ensure that the existing draught be deepened. For Kamarajar Port in Ennore, near here, tenders had been received for work and the Shipping Ministry had received a proposal for ₹600 crore. Environmental clearance was awaited.
Expressing hope that the Port-Maduravoyal project would take off soon, Mr. Gadkari, who was accompanied by Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan and president of the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP, Tamilisai Soundarajan, said he was getting “good cooperation” from the State government.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.