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New Rest and Recreation centre for warships

Indian warship the Tabar

PANAJI (PTI): Goa is all set to provide Rest and Recreation (R&R) base for warships calling the port from across the globe.

"An exclusive berth is being constructed at the port and the work is expected to be over by March 2011," Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) Chairman Praveen Agarwal told reporters on Saturday.

The Rs 33-crore facility with a length of 270 metres and which will be 22 metres wide is expected to augment warship traffic to the port.

"Soldiers usually take a break once in six months for rest and recreation and Goa could be the most preferred place for the purpose," Agarwal said.

MPT, which is one of the biggest port trusts on the Western Coast, currently receive only a few ships for rest and recreation purpose.

Agarwal pointed out that an added benefit of the new facility is that soldiers who land for a break tend to spend lavishly which will boost the economy of the state.

Meanwhile, realising that tourists arriving in Goa through cruise ships are required to land near a coal dump or iron ore heaps, the port trust is also developing an exclusive berth for these ships.

"This berth costing about Rs 47 crore will be for berthing of non-cargo vessels including cruise ships," he said. The Chairman said the work on the project has commenced and will be completed by December 2011.

The MPT catered to 19 cruise vessels during FY 2009-10 bringing in 18684 passengers.

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