India to Develop 204 Minor Ports
The government of India will put in place a comprehensive plan to develop 204 minor ports in the country in the next six months to boost coastal shipping and inland waterways, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.
These minor ports will be developed so that it can support 12 major ports in India. Small cargo will reach to major port from minor ports and boost EXIM cargo, the minister said.
All these ports have been centers of maritime activity in the past, and if revived, they can once again become important centers of sea trade. Mandaviya said that the Government is looking at developing synergy between the Major and Minor ports so that together they can bring port led development in the country.
Mandaviya said that a development plan for ports and National Port Grid will be ready within six months. Extensive study will be done for revival of each port, identifying the specific cargo linked to it and the downstream industry.
Indian government will share the study findings with the states so that the non-functional minor ports can be developed and made functional. The Minister called for greater cooperation between the center and the states to develop the maritime sector.
Mandaviya also said that the coastal shipping and inland waterways sector are poised to play a vital role in the development of the country. The cost effective and pollution free water transport can reduce logistics costs in the country, making Indian goods more competitive in the global markets, he said.
The Minister further said that the Ministry of Shipping is planning expansion of port capacity through the implementation of well-conceived infrastructure development projects, increasing the efficiency of port operations through the implementation of a package of recommendations to cut time and cost, digitization of processes to reduce and finally eliminate human interface and to strongly address environment related concerns.
He further informed that the conference discussed issues like developing common and comprehensive guidelines for inland waterways barges so that barges of different states can move seamlessly in coastal waters.
Port security was another issue that was discussed at length. This included security of both major and minor ports. Mandaviya said that international levels of security would be ensured at every port in the country.