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Central government to commission four hub ports

The central government will commission four hub ports on the west and east coast of the country as part of the national maritime agenda.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 23, 2011, 02.24 PM IST
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MUMBAI: The central government will commission four hub ports on the west and east coast of the country as part of the national maritime agenda to increase trade and port capacity at indian shores.

" The government will commission two hub ports on the east coast at Chennai Port and Visakhapatnam Port and will also develop them on the west coast at Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Cochin Port to receive the 13,500 + TEU (twenty-feet equivalent units) containerships", union minister for shipping, GK Vasan said.

The National maritime agenda is aimed at increasing the port infrastructure in the country to 3.2 billion tonnes to handle the expected traffic of about 2.5 billion tonnes by 2020. Currently Indian ports have a capacity of only 1 billion tonnes and has been faced by constraints including bureaucratic hurdles and a delayed corporatisation plan for the major ports in the country.

The south east Asian region currently have hub ports in Singapore and Colombo in Sri Lanka and the governments ambitious plan to develop hub ports in the country is expected to take more time than expected. A port can be termed as a hub port only if it can undertake transhipment of cargo and from large vessels and unload them to smaller feeder vessels.

The ICTT terminal at Vallarpadam was designed as a transhipment hub, but is yet to achieve the traffic target which is needed to term it as a hub port. In addition, the hub ports should also have the infrastructure to handle main line vessels or mother vessels and can handle more than 3 million TEU ( twenty foot equivalent) of containership.

The union minister also said that the private investment under PPP has been envisaged and a total of Rs 72,878.16 crore has been raised from the private sector for the major ports during 2010-11 of the total outlay of Rs.1,09,449.41 crores.

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