Chennai: The Centre proposes to invest Rs 2.77 lakh crore over 10 years to enhance the cargo handling capacity at ports to 3.13 billion tonne, from around 1 billion tonne at present.

"We hope to enhance the capacity at our ports to 3,130 million tonnes by 2020. The proposed investment during the next 10 years to create the expected capacity will be Rs 2.77 lakh crore", Shipping Minister G K Vasan said at a seminar on 'Development of Ports in Tamil Nadu', organised by the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Last January, Indian ports achieved the milestone of 1 billion tonne capacity, he said, adding that total traffic handled in 2010-11 was 870 million tonne and was expected to go up to around 2,495 million tonne by 2020.

Referring to issues such as connectivity and congestion faced by Chennai Port, Vasan said that his ministry was taking all efforts to address them.

He said efforts are on to speedily execute the Chennai- Ennore Port Road Connectivity Project; elevated road project from Maduravoyal to Chennai Port and setting up an integrated dry port and multi-model logistics hub at Sriperumbudur to create off-dock space for handling and storing of cargo.

Vasan said he has also invited Minister of Road Transport and Highways C P Joshi to visit Chennai to review the connectivity projects.