Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari on Friday made major announcements for the growth of Andhra Pradesh by offering to develop a major port at Vadarevu in Prakasam district, retaining the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) in the public sector and grant of Rs. 3.8 lakh crore under the Sagarmala project.

Briefing reporters on the outcome of a two-day conference of senior officials from the Ministry of Shipping, he said the Centre would submit an offer letter to Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. He said they would fund the project if 3,000 acres of land was offered to them.

The offer assumes importance in the backdrop of a controversy over construction of a major port at Dugarajapatnam in Nellore being found ‘technically unviable.’ The commitment was made in the A.P. Reorganisation Act, 2014.

The Centre had earlier asked the State to show an alternative site to release funds for construction of a major port in lieu of dropping of the one at Dugarajapatnam.

Sale of DCI

On another controversial decision by the NDA government regarding strategic sale of DCI, Mr. Gadkari said they had decided to retain the Visakhapatnam-headquartered company in the government sector with the receipt of offers from major ports located at Visakhapatnam, New Mangalore and Paradeep. “Their proposals will be approved by the Union Cabinet shortly,” he said.

On development of various projects under Sagarmala, he said they had sanctioned various projects worth Rs. 3.8 lakh crore to A.P. A sum of Rs. 1.20 lakh crore is earmarked for road development and Rs. 1 lakh crore for inland waterways.

Replying to questions, he said the Visakhapatnam Port Trust had been able to overcome the pollution problem to a large extent and congratulated the port officials for receiving awards for cleanliness and greenery.

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