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Govt. asks ports to upgrade facilities at par with EXIM trade

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Jul 4 (UNI) The performance of major ports in the country came under a scanner at the highest level here today with the government sending a strong message to port authorities to step up their efforts to upgrade facilities at ports to meet the requirements of growing EXIM trade.

Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister T R Baalu, while reviewing projects under the National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP), lent an urgency to the need for prioritising the capacity addition projects in ports.

Expressed concern over the tardy expenditure on plan schemes, Mr Baalu exhorted the Chairmen to gear up for full spending of plan allocations.

''Any shortfall in plan expenditure would be viewed very seriously,'' he warned.

Chairmen of all major ports and senior officials of the Department of Shipping, attended the review meeting.

Keeping in view the growing vessel size, the minister told chief executives of the ports to urgently go for deepening of port approach channels.

Mr Baalu expressed unhappiness over the delay in implementation of the channel deepening project of Paradip port, but lauded the efforts of Kandla Port to develop additional facilities at Tuna-Tekra.

The status of Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP) was also reviewed, and the minister expressed happiness over the progress in its implementation.

While reviewing the rail and road connectivity projects, Mr Baalu advised all the Chairmen to plan in advance keeping in view the future capacity addition so that related infrastructure was in place by the time berths were built.

The Chairman of Chennai Port was asked to expedite the feasibility report for the port-Maduravoyal elevated road corridor project.

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