Special Correspondent

Maritime University in Chennai planned

Central Govt. considering new shipyards

Perspective plan

for 12 major


PANAJI: Four States — Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Orissa and Goa — will initiate moves to set up Maritime Boards by April this year.

Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, T. R. Balu, who was here to preside over the ninth meeting of the Maritime States’ Development Council, later told presspersons on Monday that the move is in tune with the emerging scenario where non-major ports would come to play an increasing role in the near future as they were expected to handle 302 million tonnes of traffic by the end of 2011-12, which is 30 per cent of the total estimated traffic of 1,009 million tonnes, up from 27 per cent.

He said the Working Group on the Port sector for the XI Plan had estimated that a cargo-handling capacity of 1.5 billion tonnes by the ports — both major and non-major — would require an investment of Rs. 1.05 lakh crore in the next five years.

In this context, the Minister said the Ministry of Shipping had estimated the private sector component of the investment for major ports at Rs. 38,000 crore and for non-major ports Rs. 29,000 crore.

He promised to take steps to create an environment with appropriate policies to encourage seamless flow of private sector investment, duly protecting the user’s interest, for this scale of investment.

Mr. Balu said the Central Government had recently approved the model concessions agreement (MCA) for implementing the infrastructure development projects under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model in major ports. He exuded confidence that non-major ports too would adopt this model for attracting investment.

National Cruise Policy

Mr. Balu said that considering the ever-increasing potential of cruise tourism and consequent development of infrastructure, a comprehensive National Cruise Shipping Policy was on anvil in consultation with various agencies and stakeholders.

He said perspective plans had been prepared for 12 major ports with the help of international consultants. To make transactions in ports paperless, the port communication system was under implementation and Phase-I of the system had been contemplated.

The Government was actively considering setting up of international size shipyards, at least one each on the east and the west coast, said Mr. Balu. He had already taken up this issue with the Chief Ministers of all the maritime States seeking concrete proposals for locating such shipyards in their States.

With a view to providing international quality education in the maritime sector, establishment of the Indian Maritime University at Chennai was also under active consideration, he said.