282 million tonnes additional port capacity to be created this fiscal – G K Vasan
The Ministry of Shipping has drawn up an ambitious plan to increase port capacity to overcome the problem of congestion in Indian Ports. Union Minister for Shipping G K Vasan said a record number of 32 port projects were awarded during 2012-13 at an estimated cost of Rs. 6,765 crores to add capacity of about 136 Million Tonne Per Annum (MTPA). He said, during the current fiscal his Ministry had drawn up plans to award 30 projects to increase the capacity by 282 MTPA. The total estimated investment in these projects is approximately Rs. 25,000 crores. Mr. Vasan was speaking at a function to mark the Silver Jubilee of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust – JNPT in Mumbai today.
“In the Port Sector, we have directed out efforts to increasing capacity and operational efficiency primarily through augmentation of capacity, mechanization and improving the draft at the ports. We have taken initiatives to systematically identify and analyse various issues, formulate appropriate solutions and take action to address the issues”, said the Minister.
Commenting upon the performance of the JNPT, the Minister said, India’s largest container port is currently ranked 26th among the top 100 container ports in the world. He said JNPT has also dawn up a plan to increase its capacity to handle container traffic of 10 million TEUs by 2016-17. “The port needs to keep on evolving in the face of prevailing economic uncertainties as well as future expansion of trade if its wants to remain a cut above the rest” added Mr. Vasan.
The Minister of State for Shipping, Mr. Milind Deora said reforming the Tariff Authority for Major Ports, TAMP was a major economic reform of his government, which would create a level playing field and enable port capacity to be increased at a quicker pace with significantly improved efficiency and quality levels. He said JNPT has many projects which will make it a multi-purpose hub for India’s international trade. “This is crucial not only for the maritime sector, but also for the economies of Maharashtra and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, in particular’, he said.
JNPT was commissioned in 1989 by late Rajiv Gandhi with a vision to decongest both Mumbai city and the Mumbai Port Trust. Today JNPT handles more than 60 per cent of India’s container cargo registering an annual throughput of more than 4 million TEUs. JNPT is also a pioneer in implementing Public-Private Partnership projects, which has helped it build terminals confirming to international standards.
On this occasion, the Shipping Minister Mr. G K Vasan also presented awards for port customers in various categories. He also released the special issue of ‘Daily Shipping Times’ on JNPT.