Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh and Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated an alternate sea route to Baratang Island and laid the foundation stone for extension of dry dock in Port Blair, extension of wharf in Hope Town and construction of an additional jetty along with extension of Berthing Jetty in Neil Island at an event in Port Blair in A&N Islands.
The sea route to Baratang will provide an alternative to the National Highways-4 route that linked Baratang to Port Blair, passing through the Jarawa Tribal Reserve. This sea route will thus help promote tourism without disturbing the tribal areas.
The project for extension of wharf in Hope Town will allow berthing of bigger vessels than is possible at the moment. The wharf is used for movement of petroleum products, and berthing of bigger vessels will increase the availability of products and bring down logistics cost. The project is expected to be complete by February 2018.
The construction of additional approach jetty and extension of existing jetty at Neil Island would help in accommodating more than one ship, which was not possible earlier. Dredging upto 5m would help in berthing higher draft vessels , especially cargo ships. This would enable abundance supply of vegetables and other cargo to and from the island. The project would hence help in economic development of the area by promoting tourism and would also help in optimal utilization of available resources. The project is expected to be complete by March 2018.
The extension of Dry Dock –II at Port Blair will help augment the available ship building and ship repair facilities. The project is expected to be complete by September 2019.