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Investments galore in west coast ports

As part of the Port and Shipping ministry’s dedicated attempt to shore up the capacity of the container terminals in the west coast, the Jawaharlal Nehru port will invest nearly Rs 4,500 crores to develop the second phase of the fourth container terminal and a Special Economic Zone.

JNPT is the largest container port among the public sector ports and Mundra in Gujarat is the largest container port in the country.  Both Mundra Port owned by the Adani Group and the JNPT have as many as five container terminals each setting the stage for development of Western and Northern parts of the country. The Ministry has also ensured rail connectivity by commissioning the western Freight corridor connecting the ports in the west coast to the North Indian hinterland.

The Ministry is also expediting the construction of another Greenfield port at Dahanu as the JNPT will soon get saturated.

As part of the efforts to further tone up infrastructure in the west coast, the Port and Shipping Ministry has unveiled plans to invest over Rs three thousand crores to build the second phase of the fourth container terminal under Gati Shakti project of the government of India.

The first phase of the fourth container terminal which was completed three years ago has a capacity of 30 million tons per annum. It was built at a cost of Rs 4700 crores, Announcing the expansion projects of the port at a news conference recently, the port chairman Sanjay Sethi said these projects will go a long way in recognizing the critical role the JNPT plays in the country’s EXIM Trade.

In contrast there have no major investment in container terminals in the east coast. The first container terminal in the country got started in Chennai Port way back in 1980. After 42 years, the Chennai port is stuck with two container terminals working to 50 per cent of the capacity. The situation is no better in the container terminal in nearby Kamarajar port.

The VOC Port Tuticorin has been reduced to the status of feeder port depending upon on Colombo port for existence. Even the announcements made in the Union budget for an Outer harbor project at the Port has been withdrawn. 90 per cent of the cargo handled at VOC port goes by road. The port’s case for a transshipment terminal has no takers in the shipping ministry

Colachel transshipment terminal project cleared by the union cabinet way back in 2015 has been shelved. The Setu ship canal project has been abandoned half way. No activity has taken place in the project since 2008.
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