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Tamil Nadu to get 4th major port

Business Standard:  July 06, 2016

New Delhi: The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the setting up of a major port at Enayam near Colachel in Tamil Nadu. This would be the country’s 13th major port.

Colachel is about 50 km north-west of Kanyakumari.

India has 12 major ports — Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia). These handle approximately 61 per cent of the country’s cargo.

A special purpose vehicle (SPV) would be formed for the development of Colachel port, with an initial equity investment from the three existing major ports in Tamil Nadu — V O Chidambaranar Port Trust, Chennai Port Trust, and Kamarajar Port. The SPV would develop the port infrastructure, including dredging and reclamation, construction of breakwater and ensuring connectivity links, a statement said.

Fishermen in the coastal villages of Tamil Nadu have been opposing construction of this port, fearing sea erosion and loss of livelihood.

India has few ports with sufficient draft to match global cargo handling efficiencies. All of India’s trans-shipment (transfer of shipment from one carrier to another during transit) traffic is handled in Colombo, Singapore and other international ports. Indian port industry loses up to Rs 1,500 crore of revenues each year, the official statement said.

This major port at Enayam will act as a major gateway container port for Indian cargo now trans-shipped outside the country. It would also reduce the logistics cost for exporters and importers in south India, who depend on trans-shipment in Colombo or other ports, incurring additional port handling charges.

Minister of Shipping Nitin Gadkari had in April said the government had plans to add eight major ports in the country — including at Wadhawan in Maharashtra, Sagar in West Bengal and Colachel in Tamil Nadu.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.