Cabinet approves to declare Andaman and Nicobar set of ports as major port

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New Delhi, Mar 4 (ANI): The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the proposal of the Shipping Ministry to declare Andaman and Nicobar set of ports as major port and establish the Andaman and Nicobar Port Trust with its headquarters at Port Blair.

The cabinet also approved to extend the applicability of the provisions of the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 to Andaman and Nicobar set of ports.

The Cabinet also approved the proposal to disband the Port Management Board and transfer its establishment to the proposed Andaman and Nicobar islands Port Trust and to bifurcate the Andaman and Lakshadweep harbour works and transfer a part of its establishment to the A and N Port Trust and to take consequential actions with reference to the above declaration.

The establishment of the Major Port Trust at Andaman and Nicobar islands is expected to give attention to the development of the backward areas of the island group by increasing commercial activities, encouraging tourism, attracting foreign direct investment, supporting Tsunami rehabilitation programme and undertaking various developmental and welfare activities permitted under the provisions of the Major Port Trust Act, 1963.

It will also supplement the capacity requirement of the Major Port Trust in the country; safeguard the country's strategic interest besides encouraging cruise tourism.

Port development in the islands of Andaman and Nicobar has witnessed a systematic growth consistent with the requirement of administration.

The strategic location of these Islands is potentially suitable for establishing major maritime infrastructure projects to service large volumes of cargo and large vessel volumes for the neighbouring ASEAN countries' ports.

The existing administrative set up of port, comprising of the Port Management Board, has limited powers to undertake the gigantic development work and a need has been felt to establish a corporate body with adequate administrative and financial powers, to accelerate the pace of development. (ANI)

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