Chennai: Shipping Minister G K Vasan on Saturday said various ports in India have 'conceptualised' capacity augmentation schemes worth about Rs 1.80 lakh crore as estimated capacity is likely to touch 2,700 million metric tonnes by 2017.
     
"To meet the projected traffic of more than 1,700 million metric tonnes during the 12th (five year) plan, both major and non-major ports have conceptualised various capacity augmentation schemes at an estimated investment of about Rs 1.80 lakh crore," he said.
     
In his address at the "Shipping Conclave" here, he said the estimated capacity by the end of the 12th plan (2012-2017) will be "nearly 2700 million metric tonnes."
     
He said his ministry was taking a series of initiatives to promote Indian tonnage in global shipping and enhance capacity and productivity at ports.
     
The capacity of Indian ports went up to more than 1,200 million metric tonnes by end-June this year from about 1,100 million metric tonnes at the end of the previous financial year, he said.
     
Modernisation, capacity augmentation and provision of quality services at 'competitive rates' were the major focus in the 11th FYP, he said,adding container terminals at Kochi, Chennai and Tuticorin ports were commissioned as part of such efforts.
    
Among others, his Ministry was "relentlessly," working for formulation of new Land Policy as well as Captive Land Use Policy for Major Ports, which he said will be more transparent and provide level playing field to all the stakeholders.
     
He recalled the Government had relaxed Cabotage policy for three years for ICTT, Vallarpadam, Kochi.
    
While the shipping industry had not witnessed negative growth since global recession in 2008-09, ports had seen "marginal" traffic growth over the previous year. "We expect a better growth during the current financial year."
     
The government was also mulling a new policy initiative to promote Indian shipbuilding in 12th FYP, besides focusing on cruise shipping given its potential, he said.
   
"Five major ports of Mumbai, Mormugao, Chennai, Kochi and New Mangalore have been identified for development as hubs of cruise tourism," he said.

(Agencies)

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