“Ports in India face three challenges”
CHENNAI: C.B.S. Venkataramana, Joint Director General of Shipping, on Tuesday urged port officials to enhance security measures in ports to protect them and ensure that unauthorised persons were not allowed to enter or exit the premises to cause trouble elsewhere.
Delivering the inaugural address at the UK-India partnership in ports and logistics, he said the ports in India faced three major issues and challenges -- development of hinterland connectivity; investment in electric traction and doubling of railway lines for easy movement of cargo; and managing existing workforce in major ports to improve productivity.
Good hinterland connectivity is essential for easy movement of cargo. However, it is not one time development and it needs huge investment for continuous maintenance. Besides, there is also a need for laying, strengthening and widening the roads on regular basis for connecting the ports. All these projects provide good opportunity for private sector to create infrastructure in India, he said.
In his welcome address, Mike Connor, British Deputy High Commissioner in South India, urged businessmen not to be pessimistic as the world would come out of recession. “Make use of the time to plan your project. There is confidence in India. The confidence is reflected by our trade and investment statistics and large number of business events held over the last few months.”
Stating that bilateral trade between the two nations grew by 24 per cent in the first nine months of 2008, he expressed confidence that the recessionary period would end soon and business volume in India would grow further.
He also pointed out that a few trade missions from India, including those on advanced engineering and construction sector, visited the UK in recent months and the next one was to leave soon. On the other hand, several trade missions on healthcare, water, green buildings, science and inventions and creative industries had visited India. It was time for both the countries to showcase their knowhow for mutual benefit, he added.
The seminar organised by the UK Trade and Investment and CII Institute of Logistics was attended by visiting UK business delegates having expertise in ports.
The delegates were on a fact-finding mission to explore the investment opportunities in the public-private and major-minor ports in India.
On Monday, they had discussion with Chennai Port Trust officials.