Ministry: India Needs to Modernize Its Ports

The major ports in India are undergoing upgrades, modernization and construction of new terminals, in order to add more capacity and develop into hub ports, the Indian Ministry of Shipping said.

Compared to similar ports around the world, the current level of mechanization at India’s ports is not sufficient, the ministry added.

Namely, Kolkata port is only 30% mechanized, whereas Kamarajar port at Ennore has a mechanization level of up to 90%. Operations in other Indian ports are also mechanized to varying degrees.

As part of the modernization process, Ministry of Shipping had hired a consultant, which made a of 101 recommendations to boost operations and efficiency of the country’s ports. These recommendations are under various stages of implementation, the ministry said.

In the period of 2014-2015 India approved a total of 26 investment projects, with an investment of Rs. 10,543 crores and a capacity of 155 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), while in 2015 and 2016, a total of 30 projects should be awarded. These will involve an investment of Rs. 14,225 crores and capacity enhancement by 162 MTPA.

Additionally, the ministry is considering to increase the draught of major ports to at least 14 meters and up to 17 meters where it is feasible and economically efficient.

All major ports, except VOC port and Kolkata port, can handle 14 meter draft vessels. The ports of Mormugao and Kamarajar are currently undergoing expansion works which would increase the ports’ drafts by 18 meters so they can accommodate capesize vessels.

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