Gadkari to lay foundation of Rs 1,799 cr dry dock at Cochin Shipyard

New Delhi, Oct 29 (PTI) Union Minister Nitin Gadkari will lay Tuesday foundation for India's largest Rs 1,799 crore dry dock at Cochin Shipyard, a move that will equip Cochin Shipyard to build specialised and technologically advanced large vessels.The project is expected to be completed by May 2021 and generate employment opportunities for about 2,000 people.Transport and Shipping Minister Gadkari will also lay foundation stone for three naitonal highway projects in Kerala, costing Rs 1,557 crore."Gadkari and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will lay the foundation for India's largest Dry Dock at Cochin Shipyard in Kerala tomorrow. The Dry Dock will give an impetus to 'Make in India' initiative under Sagarmala and raise India's share in global shipbuilding to 2 per cent," a statement from the Ministry of Shipping said. India currently occupies 0.66 per cent share in global shipbuilding market.The commercial ship building industry in India is worth Rs 3,200 crore and focuses primarily on small-medium sized offshore vessels and cargo/bulk carriers, it said. At present, Cochin Shipyard has two dry docks, one predominantly used for ship building of size 255m x 43 x 9m and capacity 1,10,000 DWT and the other one for ship repair of size 270 x 45 x 12m and capacity 1,25,000 DWT. The new Dry Dock is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,799 crore. It will be 310 m long, 75 m wide, with a depth of 13 m and drought of 9.5 m. The dock will be designed to handle both ship building and repairs.The statment said the dock will also have a water treatment plant and Green Belt Development. Equipped with this Dry Dock, Cochin Shipyard will be able to build specialised and technologically advanced large vessels like LNG Carriers, drill ships, jack up rigs, large dredgers, aircraft carriers for Indian Navy and high end research vessels. It will also help make Cochin a one stop maritime hub for all repair needs in South East Asia, the statement said. The statement said that two 500 capacity passenger vessels built by CSL for Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration will also be launched on the occasion. These vessels will help enhance intra island connectivity. "Gadkari will also lay the foundation stone for three National Highways projects in Kerala, costing Rs 1557 Crore at an event in Eranholi in Thalassery in Kannur district," it said. These would include the construction of the 18.6 km, 4 lane Thalassery - Mahe bypass (NH-66) at a cost of Rs 1,181 Crore ; construction of 0.78 km, 4-lane Railway Over Bridge near Neeleshwaram town (NH-66) at a cost of Rs 82 Crore and widening of 46.72 km from Nattukal to ThanavuJn (NH-66) to two lane with paved shoulder at a cost of Rs 294 Crore. PTI NAM MKJ