The Centre is to explore possibilities of re-tendering the proposed Vallarpadom transshipment container terminal project near Kochi. According to Union minister for shipping Vedprakash P Goyal the government will explore the possibilities of re-tendering the project in the light of only one company - P&O Ports India Ltd - responding to the global tender in 1999.
He denied reports that the project will be dropped and assured that the government is considering the project as a nationally important one. However, before implementing the project, a detailed examination is essential since the cost is expected to come to the tune of around Rs 2,000 crore, he added.
He said, since P& O Ports is connected with the development of JNPT, Nhava Sheva, Kandla and Chennai ports, there is a chance for monopoly if they are allowed to participate in the Vallarpadom project also. The minister said he was confident that in the changed scenario there will be more global response if the project is re-tendered.
He said three national inland water ways will be developed with private participation. The government is focussing more on the development of coastal shipping and inland water transport.
These projects will enable cost effective cargo transportation. Since the government is short of funds for investing in infrastructure projects, it will take all possible efforts for bring in more private participation, including foreign, he said.