Govt will rope in consultant to develop transhipment port in Tamil Nadu
Apart from Colachel, the government has also selected Sagar in West Bengal and Wadhawan in Maharashtra as greenfield ports on the Indian coast.The Dollar Business Bureau
As part of the flagship Sagarmala project, which is aimed at improving port infrastructure along the country’s more than 7,500-km coast line, the government has already allocated an investment of Rs.80,000 crore.
With an aim to improve inbound and outbound shipments, the government has decided to develop Colachel port in Tamil Nadu as a transhipment hub and hire a consultant to expedite the project.Apart from Colachel, the government has also selected Sagar in West Bengal and Wadhawan in Maharashtra as greenfield ports on the Indian coast.The Shipping Ministry will issue tenders for appointment of a consultant by March for the proposed transhipment port at Colachel in Tamil Nadu, a government statement said on Wednesday.As part of the flagship Sagarmala project, which is aimed at improving port infrastructure along the country’s more than 7,500-km coast line, the government has already allocated an investment of Rs.80,000 crore.“We have already initiated investments worth Rs.80,000 crore for mechanisation, modernisation and computerisation of ports under Sagarmala project,” Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping and Road Transport, said at the Make in India Week in Mumbai on Wednesday.According to N Muruganandam, Managing Director of Indian Ports Association, who was also present on the occasion, Colachel has been selected as a potential transhipment hub because of its deep drought of 18.5 metres as compared to Vizhinjam in Kerala.Deeper drought at a sea port allows larger ships to stabilise easily while loading or unloading cargo. Vizhinjam was also considered for the development of a transhipment hub to capture the container business in the country’s southern coast.In an effort to encourage domestic shipbuilding, the government has also granted infrastructure status to the ship manufacturing industry and allowed up to 20% subsidy on imported items meant for ship building.Addressing a seminar on ‘Opportunities in Shipping and Port Sectors’ which was held on the sidelines of the Make in India Week, Gadkari expressed hope that the inland waterway bill which seeks to develop more than 100 river ports in the country will soon get the approval from Rajya Sabha.Inland waterways, he said, will be the “game changer” in industrial development as the country needs to reduce logistics cost to promote the ‘Make in India’ initiative. And therefore, the government has focused on developing inland waterways which is fuel-efficient, cost-effective and environment-friendly mode of transport.He said the government was also working on a proposal to build around 2,000 water ports in the next five years. A project to build three multi-model hubs on the river Ganga is already underway. The three transportation hubs are proposed at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, and Haldia in West Bengal.To tap foreign funds in the country’s maritime sector, the country is hosting the Maritime India Summit 2016 in April, which is expected to be attended by government representatives and business delegations from more than 50 countries.“A strong maritime sector will create economic growth and jobs. Realizing this potential is duty towards the nation. I am committed to bring the sector into focus; to achieve our goal of port-led economic development,” Gadkari said while launching a dedicated website for the Maritime India Summit 2016.The Summit will also showcase investment opportunities in the areas of shipbuilding, port modernization, port-based industrial development, hinterland connectivity projects, and multi-modal logistics hubs across the country.“It will provide a platform to interact closely with leading global maritime oganisations to explore business opportunities and create awareness amongst stakeholders about the emerging trends and opportunities in maritime sector,” the Shipping Ministry said.