Union minister of ports shipping and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday said cargo handling at major ports has doubled to 1,681 million metric tonnes from 821 million metric tonnes in the last nine years, with the various initiatives by the government towards infrastructure upgrade at major ports in the country. Sonowal also inaugurated the Vizag International Cruise Terminal and several other projects at Vishakhapatnam port.

“With the initiatives taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards port infrastructure, our twelve major ports are handling 1,681 million metric tonnes cargo. This is transformation through transportation,” sonowal said while inaugurating the Vizag International Cruise Terminal.  

“Before 2014, container ships used to wait for about two days to unload the cargo. With the port modernisation done now, a big ship can unload containers and load new cargo within 26 hours and move to its next destination,” Sonowal said.

Cruise terminal flagged off

Sonowal was speaking at the inauguration of international cruise terminal at Visakhapatnam port. “The terminal will serve as a pivotal gateway for both domestic and international cruise tourism along the eastern coast of India. This world-class facility promises to offer a transformative experience to tourists while fostering economic growth and benefiting local community,” said a release from the ministry of shipping.

“The terminal will operate cruises during the months of November to March, catering to the needs of passengers from around the world. During the remaining months of April to October, the berth will be utilized for Coastal Cargo operations,” the ministry said.

The terminal is equipped with essential facilities, including lounges, customs, immigration, quarantine counters, baggage handling facilities, scanning, concourse, restaurant, entertainment, shopping, health, and business exhibitions, money exchange outlets, CCTV coverage, and ample parking space.

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