New Delhi, Jan 27: As part of efforts to bring country's top 12 major ports on par with the best globally, government will award by March end projects worth Rs 14,225 crore to augment their capacity by 162 million tonnes.
"During 2015-16, a total of 30 projects are to be awarded which will involve an investment of Rs 14,225 crores and capacity enhancement by 162 MTPA," the Shipping Ministry said in a statement today.
Twenty-six projects with an investment of Rs 10,543 crore were approved in 2014-15.
"In order to bring the major ports in India at par with its contemporaries across the world, Ministry of Shipping has been emphasising on creation of additional capacities through development and construction of new berths/terminals, revamp of existing berths and terminals and other modernisation projects," the statement said.
The ministrys focus is on improving the existing port infrastructure, modernisation of the existing facilities and increasing port capacity.
Currently, the level of mechanisation is not at par as compared with other ports across the world. The statement said Kolkata Port is only 30 per cent mechanised whereas Kamarajar Port at Ennore has mechanisation level of up to 90 per cent. Operations in other Ports are also mechanised to varying degrees.
"As part of the modernisation process, Ministry of Shipping had hired a consultant for benchmarking the efficiency and productivity of major ports in India vis-a-vis international standards and suggest roadmap for improvement," it said.
A total of 101 recommendations were made by the consultant regarding improving the operations and efficiency of the major ports. These recommendations are under various stages of implementation.
The ministry has also taken note of BK Chaturvedi Committee recommendations which stress on the need to increase draught of major ports to at least 14 meters, and in ports where it is technically feasible and economically efficient, the draught should be increased to 17 meters so that these ports can be developed into hub ports.
Stating that the government has taken steps to increase the draught, the statement said all major ports except two namely VOC Port and Kolkata Port can handle 14 meter draft vessels.
Dredging work is being carried out to increase the draft by 18 meters in order to cater to capsize vessels in two Major Ports namely Mormugao and Kamarajar.
The investment in these dredging projects is estimated to be to the tune of Rs 793 crore, it said. India has 12 major ports -- Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country's total cargo traffic.