Govt to seek nod for 2 new ports in AP, Bengal soon

Written by Sunny Verma | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 14 2012, 08:46am hrs
The government will soon seek the Union Cabinets approval for setting up two new major ports in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. The shipping ministry is close to finalising the modalities of these two new ports, which will be set up as a special purpose vehicle, government sources said.

We are working on these two projects. The locations (for the proposed ports) are being finalised in consultation with the states. The ministry will seek the Cabinet's approval in a few weeks, a government official said. The two projects are expected to cost an estimated R4,000 crore this year.

These ports will help in creating a target capacity of 244 million tonne through 42 projects, which will cost R14,500 crore in 2012-13.

In its Maritime Agenda 2010-2020, the shipping ministry plans to increase the total port capacity to 3,300 million tonne from 1,200 million tonne now, needing an estimated investment of R2.9 lakh crore.

The 13 major ports handle 63% of the seaborne traffic at present, while the non-major ports handle the remaining 36% capacity. 12 of these ports function as trusts under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, while the Ennore Port was set up as a company under the Companies Act, 1956. The two new ports are expected to be set up as special purpose vehicles.

The ministry plans to award a total of 25 projects at various major ports under public private partnership (PPP) mode in 2012-13. The government has proposed to invest R73,793.95 crore for development of various projects in port sector in the 12th five year plan. In this fiscal so far, it has had limited success in awarding the projects. PPP projects of major ports are also held up due to need to obtain multiple clearances at various levels.