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South India to get 6 port development projects

The shipping ministry is planning to award six port development projects worth Rs 2,183 crore in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka as part of its 100-day agenda programme. It also has plans to declare Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep as major ports, taking the total number of major ports in the country to 14. The projects would come up under the public private partnership (PPP) model according to shipping minister G K Vasan. The projects include a Rs 1,407-crore container terminal with a capacity of 1.5 million twenty foot equivalent unit (TEUs) at Ennore Port, near Chennai. The second project involves development of a container terminal with a capacity of 470,000 TEUs for Rs 312.23 crore at the Tuticorin port. The ministry is also looking at commissioning a small ship division at Cochin Shipyard Ltd in Kerala at an estimated cost of Rs 98.63 crore. Among others, the Phase II of capital dredging of National Waterways No 3 on the west coast canal from Kollam to Kottapuram along with Champakara and Udyogmandal canals in Kerala will be implemented at Rs 89.74 crore. A mechanised iron ore handling facility as a backup requirement to deep draft at the multipurpose Berth No 14 would be developed at Rs 277.11 crore at the New Mangalore Port in Karnataka.

Major ports to beef up security systems

After recent terror attacks, all the 13 major ports have received security alerts from the union ministry. Now the port administration are gearing up to install modern RFID technology to monitor truck movements, CCTV and speed-boats for patrolling seawaters. Advisory notes have been provided to various agencies who are registering fishing vessels to apply due diligence. Directorate General of Shipping will undertake a security audit and has  also made a request to ISRO for technology for low-cost boat tracking system

Major ports report profits and increase in traffic

Kolkatta, Vizag, Tuticorin, NMPT, Mormugao, Mumbai, JNPT, Kandla have all reported an increase in income surplus compared to last year. According to IPA (Indian Ports Association), the handling cost per-tonne have come down by 2% and the manpower costs have gone by 20% however, the no. of people deployed have gone down.    Overall cargo traffic has increased by 10% and no. of vessels calling at these major ports have also registered an increase of 6%.


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