New Delhi, Nov 28 (UNI) The Government today admitted in the Lok Sabha that the existing port facilities in the country were inadequate to handle international trade.
During the Question Hour in the House, the Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways T R Baalu said that in order to increase the capacity of major ports, a total of 276 projects involving an estimated investment of Rs 55,804 crore had been identified in major Ports under the National maritime Development Programme (NMDP) to be taken up for implementation by 2011-12.
He said that out of this, an investment of Rs 34,505 crore was expected from the private sector and the balance through public funds. These projects covered the entire gamut of activities in the ports including construction of new berths, upgradation of existing berths, deepening of port channels to receive large size ships, equipments upgradation and modernisation, rail/road connectivity and other associated projects. While public funds would be utilised for creating common user infrastructure, private sector investment was envisaged in commercially viable projects like development and operations of berths/terminals.
He said that to facilitate smooth flow of traffic through the major ports, during the 11th Five Year Plan period, the aggregate capacity in the major ports was to be enhanced to 1001.8 MTPA to cater to increasing traffic by the year 2011-12.
The non-major ports are under the control of respective State Government under whom the responsibility for their development vests. The State Governments had also drawn up plans to expand their port capacities, Mr Baalu added.