By Priti Naik
The construction of the cruise terminals is all set to begin as the project tenders have been finalised by the Visakhapatnam Port Trust. The cruise terminal is expected to give a boost to tourism in the North Coastal Andhra. The terminal will be constructed at the Green Channel Berth of the outer harbour. The construction will generate large scale employment for local people.
The cruise berth will be 180 meters long with four mooring dolphins, two on each side. The berth will handle Panamax vessels of 50,000-1,00,000 GRT and ships of 300 m LOA, 37.6 m beam and 8.1 m draft. The cruise terminal with modern infrastructure will be ready by next February.
Speaking to the media, VPT Chairman K Rama Mohana Rao said that the tenders for the `96-crore cruise terminal project were first invited on August 16, 2021. As only one ineligible bid was received for the project, separate tenders were invited for the cruise berth and cruise terminal building. Radhakrishna Engineering and Construction Company of Vizag has won the bid for the cruise berth, while the terminal building tender has gone to SEBC Constructions of Hyderabad.
The cruise terminal will provide adequate parking space for seven buses, 70 cars and 40 two-wheelers. The proposed facilities include immigration counters, lounge, tourism operator counters, restaurants, shopping malls, entertainment zones and restrooms.
The VPT had initially given approval for the `77 crore cruise terminal project on November 16, 2018. It was proposed to take up the project with 50% aid from the Ministry of Tourism under the Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development. Navy gave NOC for the project on July 26, 2021. The CRZ clearance was granted by the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority on October 26, 2021. The construction of the new terminal will facilitate both domestic and international cruise travel from Vizag in a big way.