Rs. 60,000 crores to be spent on development of ports
BANGALORE: Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T.R. Baalu said on Tuesday the Union Government is envisaging a 20-year maritime policy for developing ports and shipping with a view to achieving the growth rate target of 8.1 per cent.
Inaugurating the silver jubilee celebrations of the New Mangalore Port Trust and dedicating the Deep Draught Multipurpose Berth No. 14 in Mangalore, he said his Ministry will spend Rs. 60,000 crores on the development of ports and Rs. 40,000 crore on development of shipping and infrastructure for transportation of cargoes among 12 major ports.
Mr. Baalu said he will place the issue of maritime policy before the Union Cabinet and seek its approval for implementing the mega project.
Explaining the programmes taken up by his Ministry for developing infrastructure in ports, such as dredging for deepening berths and channels, Mr. Baalu said 276 projects will be initiated.
The Minister said that apart from the Golden Quadrilateral and east-west and south-north corridor projects taken up by the previous government, the United Progressive Alliance Government has commenced development of highways at a cost of Rs. 1,72,000 crores under the National Highway Development Project.
He said he is happy there is competition among port trusts to reduce the tariff and attract clientele. He promised to expedite the proposals sent by chairpersons of port trusts for development of infrastructure in their areas.
Mr. Baalu said a sound social policy, through which poverty can be eradicated, should be evolved.
A.K. Mohapatra, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, spoke. Chairman of the New Mangalore Port Trust P. Tamilvanan welcomed the gathering. J. Krishna Palemar, MLA, and S. Babu, President, of the Karnataka Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, were present. Chairmen of port trusts attended the function.