Bhubaneswar, May 28 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today directed officials to formulate a marine trade policy for the economic development of the state.
The Chief Minister's direction came in the wake of the Ocean Engineering Department of IIT, Chennai, submitting a presentation on the growth of sea-borne cargo in Orissa.
As per the presentation, the sea-borne cargo is likely to reach 300 million tonnes in Orissa by 2017 and 15 to 20 minor ports were needed to be developed on a priority basis to raise the state's share of handling six per cent of the total national sea-borne cargo to 16 per cent.
The country's sea-borne cargo had witnessed more than 10 per cent growth. The nine maritime states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Goa, Karnataka and Orissa, handled 663 million tonnes of cargo during 2007.
The Union Surface Transport Ministry stated that by 2017 the ports would have to handle 2,000 million tonnes per year.
Orissa, having rich mineral resources and heading for rapid industrialisation, was likely to handle 300 million tonnes of cargo by 2017 from the existing 60 million tonnes.
Around 20 more ports would be required, besides the existing ports at Paradeep and Gopalpur to handle the cargo, the presentation stated.
Since the ports would play a major role in transporting coal, the states of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar would use the ports of Orissa.
Out of the 480 km long coastline in the state, ports could be developed in only 50 per cent of the area, the Ocean Engineering Department of the IIT, Chennai, stated and suggested for the development of three clusters of ports in the state.
The presentation recommended development of the Gopalpur cluster from Sonapur to Astarangpur, Paradeep cluster from Astranga to Dhamra South and the Dhamra cluster from Dhamra to Kirtania.
The Chief Minister also directed the state Commerce and Transport department to prepare a master plan on the state's internal water transportation.
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