December 10, 2018
Ports across India handle 90 per cent by volume and 70 per cent by value of India’s external trade
India is aiming to raise the overall port capacity to over 3.5 billion metric tonnes per annum by 2025
Apart from 12 major ports, India has 200 notified minor ports and plans are afoot to build six new ports
Rising marine activity has also led to setting up of Coastal Economic Zones under the Sagarmala initiative
India’s nine major ports reported an operational growth of 4.8 per cent over the period April-November 2018, as per a statement by the Ministry of Shipping on December 10. The major ports together handled 461.2 million tonnes of cargo during the period, as against 440 million tonnes a year earlier. These nine ports include the ones at Kolkata and Haldia (West Bengal), Paradip (Odisha), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Ennore and Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Cochin (Kerala), New Mangalore (Karnataka), Nhava Sheva (Maharashtra) and Kandla (Gujarat). The growth comes as critical as ports across India handle 90 per cent by volume and 70 per cent by value of India’s external trade.
The Ministry of Shipping, along with State Governments are aiming to raise the overall port capacity to 3,500 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to cater to the projected traffic of 2,500 mtpa by 2025. To reach this, 249 modernization projects have been identified. Out of these, 107 capacity expansion projects – at an cost of US$9.7 billion – have been identified from the master plan for India’s 12 major ports and are expected to add 794 mmtpa to the major port capacity over the next 20 years. Meanwhile, around 116 initiatives have been identified to unlock over 100 mtpa capacity just through efficiency improvement. Apart from the 12 major ports, India has 200 notified minor ports.
In 2018, the nine best performing ports handled over 60 per cent of the nation’s major port traffic. Rising marine activity has also led to the setting up of Coastal Economic Zones (CEZ) that include multimodal industrial and infrastructure development under the Government’s US$125 billion Sagarmala initiative. Concurrently, in addition to the projects for capacity expansion at the 12 major ports, six new port sites, Vadhavan (Maharashtra), Enayam (Tamil Nadu), Tajpur (West Bengal), Paradip Outer Harbour (Odisha), Sirkazhi (Tamil Nadu), Belekeri (Karnataka), have been identified to increase India’s overall cargo handling capacity. Major ports’ capacity was reported ay 1,451.2 mtpa in 2017-18.