Low cost Non-Ma­jor Ports on the anvil

For faster move­ment of cargo and to fa­cil­i­tate pri­or­ity berthing, the gov­ern­ment has plans to set up low cost Non-Ma­jor ports along the coast­line un­der the Sa­gar­mala project.

Cargo Talk - - Ports -

As wait­ing time is im­por­tant and ham­pers the ef­fi­ciency of ves­sel oper­a­tions, the gov­ern­ment has asked 12 ma­jor ports to ac­cord pri­or­ity berthing fa­cil­i­ties to ships. “The lack of berthing fa­cil­i­ties force ships to spend 70 per cent time wait­ing and only 30 per cent in voy­age,” Min­istry of Ship­ping said in a doc­u­ment. This makes the ship­ping in­dus­try un­com­pet­i­tive. The doc­u­ment fur­ther said that "De­vel­op­ment of low-cost non-ma­jor ports along the coast­line out­side cus­toms no­ti­fied ar­eas to cater to coastal traf­fic ex­clu­sively would be en­cour­aged un­der the Sa­gar­mala project, through the re­spec­tive state/mar­itime boards, as has been done in the UK and Ja­pan." With the gov­ern­ment push­ing port-led eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, Sa­gar­mala is a pri­or­ity project for which the gov­ern­ment had given a go ahead in March. The gov­ern­ment will iden­tify Coastal Eco­nomic Zones for in­te­grated plan­ning for Sa­gar­mala. The bud­get for ini­tial phase in 201516 is 692 crore. Kandla, Mum­bai, JNPT, Mor­mu­gao, New Mana­glore, Cochin, Chennai, En­nore, V O Chi­dambara­nar, Visakha­p­at­nam, Paradip and Kolkata (in­clud­ing Hal­dia) are the 12 ma­jor ports, which han­dle ap­prox­i­mately 61 per cent of cargo traf­fic. Cur­rently, In­dia comes 17th in global ship­ping ca­pac­ity in EXIM trade. The EXIM cargo vol­ume is around 611 mil­lion tonnes (MT) and ac­counts for US$279 bil­lion. In­dia has a coast­line of over 7,000 km but even then coastal ship­ping is in its in­fancy. The fleet of around 700 ships ac­counts for about 10 per cent of the to­tal ton­nage. And the plan is to boost ship­ping cargo four-fold by 2020.

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