Proposed big projects make no headway in 2020

Lack of coordination between the Union and State Governments said to be one of the reasons

When the authorities first proposed a series of big-ticket projects, including a central port at Ramayapatnam, an international paper mill at Ravuru, a ‘defence cluster’ at Donakonda and National Investment and Manufacturing Zone(NIMZ), near Kanigiri, people in Prakasam district had held their hopes high.

But with the projects making no headway, they have now become impatient. The projects could not come to fruition for various reasons, including lack of coordination between the Union and State Governments and change of the ruling dispensation in the State.

It was at Ramayapatnam where a major public sector port with an investment of over ₹20,000 crore was proposed by the State government after the BJP-led Central government ruled out setting up the port at Dugirajapatnam in Nellore district.

BJP MP G.V.L.Narasimha Rao took up the district’s cause and worked for revival of the port project even as the previous Telugu Desam Party government proposed a non-major port in the sleepy village.

The present YSR Congress Party government suggested to the Centre to go ahead with the major port project in Prakasam disrict. However it went ahead with the proposal to set up a port on its own when the response was lukewarm.

Global tenders have been floated and the same will be opened later this month and a private player will be finalised for the project during early next year, official sources here gave an indication. Already about 3,500 acres of land has been identified for the purpose.

Meanwhile, elite sections of the people in the district are worried over the proposal to shift a major part of the port project to Kavali revenue division in neighbouring SPSR Nellore district.

Paper mill

Another big ticket project proposed was was the 5-million tonne paper mill of the Asia Paper and Pulp at a cost of ₹24,000 crore at the coastal Ravuru village in view of abundance of social forestry plantations in the district. After the change of government the Indonsia-based MNC seemed to have lost interest in the project. It had sought 2,500 acres of land from the State Government as also assured water processing.

Yet another project which did not come to fruition was the defence cluster at Donakonda, an erstwhile strategic air strip during the colonial era, proposed by Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy under the Make in India initiative. Naval authorities had also zeroed in on Donakonda for Very Low Frequency Transmitter towers in Donakonda, where a large tract of government land was available.

“We are hoping that these projects see the light of day at least during 2021,” says Prakasam District Development Forum President Ch.Ranga Rao who has been spearheading a series of stirs to see the projects become a reality sooner than later.

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