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Vallarpadam terminal could face delays over land acquisition problems

Vallarpadam terminal could face delays over land acquisition problems

A transshipment terminal in the south of India designed to eventually handle 3 million TEUs of cargo is facing potential delays that could set its opening back one year.

   The first phase of the Vallarpadam deepwater terminal, in the Port of Cochin, was initially due to open in April 2009, but delays in acquiring land to build a connecting highway and rail line to the terminal will likely set the opening of the first phase back at least six months, and possibly a year, the Hindu Business Line recently reported. As of a February deadline, only 15 percent to 20 percent of the required land had been acquired as local residents fought the government’s attempts to take their land. They argued the compensation was too low.

   Vallarpadam lies on an island across the harbor from the existing container terminal in Cochin, which handles about 300,000 TEUs annually. The new terminal will have the deepest draft of any container port in India. Dubai Ports World, which operates the current terminal and is developing the new terminal, hopes to siphon off Indian transshipment cargo that is traditionally handled in the Port of Columbo in Sri Lanka.