Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu on Friday announced that the new port to come up at Kona village would be christened as ‘Kona Port’ with both the Central and State governments agreeing in principle to name the Rs. 2,000 crore venture after the village.

“Once the new port commences its operations, Kona and surrounding villages will witness development on a par with Kakinada city. Employment will be provided to all the eligible in the port and its ancillary units,” he said while addressing the ‘Grama Darshini’ meeting at A.V. Nagaram of Thondangi mandal.

Advising people not to fight against the Kakinada Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) and the proposed port projects as they could generate more jobs, Mr. Ramakrishnudu said employment generation was the major challenge ahead of the government. “We have to encourage industries. More industrial units result in more employment opportunities to children,” he said.

Approach road

He further announced that an approach road from the project site to the National Highway at Ananvaram would be laid with an estimated outlay of Rs. 1,650 crore, and the World Bank would be funding the road work.

Stating that there was no compromise on payment of ex gratia to those who lost their lands to the port project, he said the government was ready to pay unemployment benefits to the eligible youth from the surrounding villages if they failed to get a job in the port. “The unemployment benefit programme will be finalised in the next Cabinet meeting. A sum of Rs. 1,000 per month will be paid to the eligible. Modalities are being worked out and the Cabinet’s nod is required to launch the programme,” he said.

Scholarship

On behalf of the Yanamala Foundation, a trust owned by the Minister’s family, Mr. Ramakrishnudu distributed scholarship to the tune of Rs. 500 to 160 students pursuing Intermediate from A.V. Nagaram and surrounding villages. “It is a small gesture to encourage higher education among the poor families. It will help meet the monthly expenses of the students,” he said.

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