The port at Sagar in West Bengal will entail an investment of Rs.7,820 cr

Giving a push to infrastructure development, the government, on Thursday, approved a proposal to set up two major ports in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh at an investment of about Rs.15,820 crore.

“The proposal for setting up two major ports in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh has been cleared,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

The new port in West Bengal, which will have a capacity of 54 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), requires an investment of around Rs.7,820 crore.

The other new port in Andhra Pradesh, whose projected capacity is around 50 mtpa, would entail an investment of about Rs.8,000 crore, the Minister said.

The new ports will be notified as major ports under the Indian Ports Act, 1908. Major ports come under the Central Government, while minor ports are operated by State governments as well as by the private sector.

There are at present 12 major ports — Kolkata-Halida, Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Ennore, Chennai, V O Chidambaranar (formerly Tuticorin), Kochi, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru (JNPT) and Kandla.

The move to set up new ports comes after several years.

The need for a port at Sagar in West Bengal was felt as the existing ports at Kolkata and Haldia were facing capacity constraints.

The location for port in Andhra Pradesh has not yet been finalised, and the State Government has identified three locations — Nakkapalli in Visakhapatnam, Ramayyapatnam in Prakasam and Dugarajapatnam in Nellore.

PPP mode

The new major ports are likely to be set up on public-private partnership (PPP) mode, and will cater to increased imports of coal and oil besides boosting the local economy and generating jobs.

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