The shipping ministry has decided to aggressively pursue port development in the country and has set a target to award 42 such projects in the current year. “In the current year, the ministry of shipping has set an ambitious target of awarding 42 new port contracts for a total worth of Rs 15,000 crore. These new ports will add a capacity of 250 million tonnes,” G K Vasan, shipping minister, said at a conference. “The ministry has set a target to achieve a capacity of 3,200 million tonnes at Indian ports by 2020 and around 2,600 million tonnes of it all is planned by 2016-17.” Of the 42 projects, 17 have already been awarded, and the rest will be undertaken by March 2013.
The minister termed the projects “ambitious”, as only four-five had been awarded in recent years. Outlining the fund raising for the ports sector, P K Sinha, secretary, shipping ministry, said the the finance ministry had approved a total of Rs 3,000 crore of bond issues by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust ( JNPT) at Navi Mumbai, Dredging Corporation of India and Ennore Port. JNPT will be raising Rs 2,000 crore and the other two will raise Rs 500 crore each by March, he said. JNPT green signal for Trans Harbour Link: Deora Milind Deora, minister of state, shipping, said JNPT had given a no-objection certificate to the Maharashtra government for the Mumbai trans-harbour link project and the work would now be taken up soon.
“The ministry of shipping has instructed both, JNPT Port and Mumbai Port, to extend the fullest cooperation to the project and all support will be given to ensure its expeditious implementation,” the minister said. The project is about providing greater connectivity between Mumbai and the future new airport in Navi Mumbai. JNPT had cast apprehensions on the project, as it was proving to be a hindrance in the plan to build a fifth terminal. L Radhakrishnan, chairman, JNPT, said the port would review its plans for the fifth terminal and change the project accordingly.