Govt unveils guidelines for ports
The government has approved new guidelines for coastal shipping. With this move government aims at promoting coastal shipping to reduce pressure on rail and road transport systems.
The Ministry of Shipping has issued new guidelines under which 12 major ports will have to give priority berthing to dry bulk or general cargo coastal vessels irrespective of the origin and final destination of the cargo.
The 12 ports are: Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Kolkata (with Haldia), Chennai, Visakhapatanam, Cochin, Paradip, New Mangalore, Marmagao, Ennore, Tuticorin and Kandla.
The guidelines, approved by Nitin Gadkari Shipping Minister, also provide for concessional port charges whether the vessel is berthed on priority basis or on normal basis.
Nitin Gadkari, who took charge of the ministry along with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on May 29, had said that in order to save on fuel cost and promote water transport the government may allow transport of vehicles through sea. The 12 major ports handle approximately 61 per cent of the country’s total cargo traffic besides about 200 non-major ports.
Ennore Port, near Chennai, has already seen export of 4.49 lakh automobile units till December 2013, including by automobile manufacturers such as Nissan, Ford and Ashok Leyland from Chennai, Toyota from Bangalore and Honda from Delhi.