Port Wings News Network:
On 12 October 2018, Thiru K.J.Alphons, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism Government of India, has inaugurated the modernised cruise terminal at West Quay IV in Chennai Port and also participated in the first ever PORT DAY celebrations. Shri.Pon Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Finance and Shipping, Government of India, presided over the function.
This Modernised Cruise terminal at WQ IV has a total Area of 2880 sq.m, with 2040 sq.m in the First floor area, Mezanine Floor area 120sq.m and Ground floor area 720sq.m
Chennai port one of the oldest ports in India has been one of the ports which attracted cruise vessels on the east coast of India. In order to enhance the cruise tourism potential of this part of the country, The Passenger Facilitation Centre in the existing Passenger Terminal at WQ IV at Chennai Port Trust has been modernised with Financial Assistance of Rs.17.24 Crores under the scheme” Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development” from Ministry of tourism.
The Terminal has been upgraded/proposed with the following facilities:- 4 numbers of escalators for embarking and disembarking passengers, Heat ventilation Air Conditioning for the entire terminal, 10 Immigration counters (10 more planned), High end security system such as Baggage scanners & Hand held Metal detectors, Cafeteria proposed at the Mezanine floor, International standard rest rooms, and 3 seater chair modules for waiting passengers for 168 passengers at first floor and 132 passengers at ground floor.
South India is a Major tourist destination with rich cultural heritage. It is considered as the Gate way to pallava Chola and Vijayanagara culture. The Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram and Chennai’s religious and historical places attracts passengers from all over the world. Hence a need for the State of the Art Cruise Terminal is felt. This modernised cruise Terminal is definitely a great step in attracting passenger traffic with exclusive Yacth parking, Single window (Integrated) clearance of Customs, Immigration and Security. Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria, Universe Explorer are some of the important vessels to visit Chennai Port.
VESSELS CHARGES STANDARDIZED
A standard operating procedure to facilitate clearance of cruise vessels and passengers through all Indian Ports has been prepared in consultation with Immigration, Customs, Security agencies and other stake holders.
Vessels charges have been standardized across the country with the introduction of a uniform vessel related tariff of USD 0.35 per GRT for cruise vessel stay for 12 hours at any Indian Port. Ministry of Home Affairs has waived off the requirement of biometric enrolment for the cruise passengers arriving on e-visa for the period of three years till 31.12.2020 for the Major 5 Sea Port viz. Mumbai, Cochin, Chennai, Mormugao and New Mangalore.
At Chennai Port the upgraded facilities and eased out procedures will ensure quick clearance in and out of the port enabling them maximum time at their disposal.
PORT DAY AT CHENNAI PORT
The Maritime history of Chennai started way back in 1639 with setting up of Fort St.George on the seashore of the erstwhile Madrasapatnam (Madras) from an open roadstead and exposed sandy coast till 1815 with minor port operations. Initial piers were built in 1861, but the storms of 1868 and 1872 made them inoperative which led to the emergence of an artificial harbor. In 1875 work began for the construction of first protected manmade harbour with break waters having an eastern entrance and was completed in the year 1881.
By October 1881, both the North and the South Piers had been completed to their full length, with a 550 foot entrance on the east: 7836 lineal feet of Break water had been constructed, 13,309 concrete blocks set in position. This completion in 1881 is considered the beginning of the Modern Harbour of Madras that has grown into the PORT OF CHENNAI currently with 24 berths and handling more than 20 million tonnes a year. To commemorate this historic occasion, the Board of Trustees of Chennai Port have decided to celebrate PORT DAY during the second week of October, starting from this year.
During the Port week celebrations various events like cultural programmes and competitions were organized to create awareness among the employees and stakeholders.
Best Business Awards are given to Port Users on the basis of performance like Highest Number of Vessels handled, Highest Tonnage handled and Highest Performance among CHA, Record breaking performances by Stevedores etc.
Award of Excellence are given to best performing Employees based on their innovation, achievement and suggestion in saving expenditure
The Port Day celebrations creates ideal atmosphere to highlight the glorious past and the future vision of Chennai Port. The celebrations help in bringing together all officers, employees and the Port community as a whole and rejuvenates cooperation, thereby contributes towards the improvement of our Port.
With a sense of pride all our officers and employees have participated in these celebrations and with the same vigor continue to contribute towards the development of the Port.