Ports, waterways to adorn Amaravati
A host of minor ports development and the revival of the Buckingham Canal would be jewels in the crown of, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.
The State government's plans for the development of minor ports and the Union government's plan to develop waterways integrating the Buckingham Canal with Krishna and Godavari rivers would fast track the development of capital city Amaravati, government sources said.
Ports and waterways development would trigger in a massive economic development within the next five years and the capital is poised to be the gate way to South East Asia, as put out by the Singapore Minister Ishwaran, while speaking on the prospects of Amaravati capital recently.
Development of more than 20 minor ports and the 1,000 km long waterways from Kakinada to Tada within Andhra Pradesh is expected to trigger in economic activity on a massive scale breathing new life into the oxygen-starved State economy. The government sources expect Amaravati to emerge as vibrant city with the revival project of the Buckingham Canal and the waterways which is expected to boost transportation of cargo.
Presently, survey by the Waterways Authority is underway on the status and technical aspects of broadening the canal and de-silting the canal to facilitate the navigation of cargo boats.
The idea of the Centre is to boost water ways connecting Bhadrachalam in Telangana and connecting the same to AP coastal towns and Tamil Nadu to facilitate Inter-State cargo transportation. The project costs Rs.2,000 crore for reviving of the nearly 1,100 km long water way route touching Yanam, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Eluru, Vijayawada, Tenali, Nellore and Chennai.
An inspection of the canal from Rajahmundry to Nellore saw many encroachments on canal bunds at many places. The canal is also highly silted and de-silting and deepening works have to be undertaken to enable cargo boats to move freely. The canal needs to be 32 metres wide and 2.5 metres deep before cargo boats can be reintroduced to ferry the local agriculture and industrial produce.
A comprehensive survey had been undertaken to ascertain the status of the canal in the three States of Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Water ways would service several thermal power stations, coconut and edible oil plants and textile units. The project is scheduled for completion in seven years and by the time the AP government builds the core capital more than 80 percent of the canal works would be completed. Several private ports also would be under completion under PPP mode and will set in motion an integrated development of Amaravati, the sources opined.