Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, emphasized the importance of improving transportation as a catalyst for positive transformation in India. This aligns with the government’s ambitious initiatives like Maritime India Vision (MIV)-2030 and Amrit Kaal 2047. Under the MIV, there’s a target to attract nine lakh port-bound tourists to various ports, including Visakhapatnam Port, by 2030.
On September 4, Mr. Sonowal inaugurated the Visakhapatnam International Cruise Terminal (VICT) along with three other significant projects at the Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA). He highlighted that these infrastructure enhancements are part of the government’s efforts to achieve its goals, guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision.
Speaking at the VICT lounge during the inauguration, Mr. Sonowal expressed confidence that these projects would greatly benefit Visakhapatnam and the state of Andhra Pradesh. The increasing influx of international tourists through the cruise terminals is expected to contribute to the city’s development, illustrating the concept of “transformation through transportation.”
Additionally, Mr. Sonowal shared that the Union Government has undertaken 802 Sagaramala projects across the country, with a total investment of ₹5.60 lakh crore. Andhra Pradesh alone has 113 projects worth approximately ₹1.23 lakh crore. Out of these, 36 projects valued at ₹32.210 crores have already been completed. These projects aim to enhance the existing infrastructure at ports.
Mr. Sonowal also noted the significant growth in cargo handling capacity at major ports over the past nine years, from 871 MTPA in 2014-15 to 1681 MTPA as per the latest statistics. He attributed this progress to the Sagaramala project introduced by the Modi Government in 2015. He emphasized that this project played a vital role in enabling infrastructure developments like the Visakhapatnam cruise terminal.
Union Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shripad Yesso Naik, mentioned that, in addition to the cruise terminal, three projects totaling ₹333.56 crore were launched at the VPA premises on September 4. These include a ‘Covered Storage Shed’ and a Truck Parking Terminal (TPT).
Andhra Pradesh State IT and Industries Minister Gudivada Amarnath assured full support from the state government for the development of Andhra Pradesh. He highlighted the transformative impact of the inaugurated projects, particularly the cruise terminal, in attracting international tourists, boosting the economy, and creating employment opportunities.
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) G.V.L. Narasimha Rao credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for the development of Visakhapatnam. Earlier, VPA Chairman Madhaiyan Angamuthu provided an overview of the port projects and the collaborative efforts of both the Central and State Governments in their development.