PANAJI: After completing the construction of a Rs 25.7 crore cruise terminal at Kochi, Cochin Port Trust has now been entrusted with the construction of the full-fledged international cruise terminal that is coming up at the harbour, said Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) chairman E Ramesh Kumar on Thursday.
MPT issued the work order to Cochin Port Trust on Wednesday and the work is expected to commence shortly.
“In the backdrop of the Covid pandemic and since Cochin port has already built a cruise terminal, we have decided to appoint Cochin Port Trust as the project management consultant for this project,” said Kumar. “The work order has just been issued and since they have already executed such a project, they just need to replicate it here.”
MPT has an ambitious plan to develop a domestic and international cruise terminal, which will include Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax services, which will enable cruise passengers to directly travel by smaller ferries and boats to North Goa after disembarking.
The plan also includes a commercial hub, which will come up within the terminal building, so that foreign tourists who do not wish to travel can still get a taste of Goa’s culture, cuisine and handicrafts.
The techno economic feasibility report was prepared by Feedback Infra Private Limited, while Team One India prepared the architectural cum engineering design for the terminal and allied facilities.
Kumar said that though the global cruise sector has hit a slump, it will bounce back, and that MPT would like to have all the infrastructure in place to have an early advantage.
MPT unveiled the plan for the cruise terminal and allied facilities at the Maritime India Summit, during a session on investment opportunities in Goa.
Presently, MPT has a 450m-long cruise berth that can comfortably accommodate cruise vessels.
A second berth, which is presently leased to the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard, is used as and when two cruise ships make a simultaneous port call.
Meanwhile, cargo movement at the port grew 37% in 2020-21, even as other major ports in the country reported a contraction in freight movement. Despite the sudden halt in economic activity brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, MPT handled 219.5 lakh tonne of cargo in 2020-21 as against 160.2 lakh tonne in the previous year.
Kumar attributed this to the steps taken by the port to reduce the impact of the pandemic on shipping movement. The MPT chief also said that he expected cargo movement to increase in the coming financial year as initiatives taken to diversify cargo could help the port.