Southern Railway’s bureaucracy has expressed reservations about laying a seven kilometre Port connectivity project for Cuddalore port saying that they would consider it only when the cargo starts flowing into the port according to highly placed shipping industry sources.
The sources said Rail connectivity is crucial for growth of cargo in the port which was in disuse for nearly 35 years. It is a chicken and egg scenario and the railway bureaucracy should realize a railway line would bring fortunes to the port.
The state Maritime board which is giving final shape to the rejuvenated Cuddalore port has planned a last mile rail connectivity project covering the port as well as the chemical industries situated in the nearby SIPCOT complex at a cost of Rs eight crores. But the railways are dragging their feet, putting conditionalities for implementing the project.
As for road connectivity the port is situated barely a kilometre away from the National highway 45A a two lane road linking Cuddalore with Chidambaram and Chennai. The highway is being expanded to four lanes. Cuddalore port is just seven kilometres away from the four lane New East coast road now under construction linking Chennai with Nagapatinam via Puducherry. An exclusive four lane link road is being planned to connect the Port with the New East coast road.. So evacuation of cargo from the port is not an issue.