In a major decision, the Andhra Pradesh cabinet has decided to take back 412.5 acres allotted to the Machilipatnam Port Private Limited (MPPL) for the development of a deep-water port in the coastal town.
The decision was taken even as the cabinet decided to ask Navayuga Engineering Company Limited (NECL) to exit from Polavaram irrigation project. NECL is also the lead promoter in MPPL.
The YSRCP government said that it had decided to take back the land due to extreme delays in execution of the project, which was first awarded to a consortium in 2008. The decision to cancel the agreement was announced by the state government last month, when it said that the concessionaire failed to fulfil its obligations like payment of lease rentals and achieving financial closure over the last 11 years.
It was in February this year that then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had laid the foundation stone for the deep sea port to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 12,000 crore. The state government had promised that the greenfield, all-weather multi-purpose port which was coming up in Machilipatnam, would develop the town and revive its past glory.
At the time of laying of the foundation stone early this year, it was announced that that the port will be spread across 4,800 acres. The first phase with four berths was expected to be completed and operational in 18 months. It was also announced that the port will have 40 million tonnes capacity in the first phase. When completed, the port's handling capacity was to go up to 150 million tonnes.
It was in 2008, when Jagan's father Y S Rajasekhar Reddy was the Chief Minister, that the state government had awarded the project to a consortium led by MAYTAS Infra Pvt Ltd. NECL was inducted as the lead promoter of the project in 2009.
Read: From a cosmopolitan city to a dead dock: The attempt to revive Machilipatnam port