New Delhi: The government on Thursday said it will set up a port each at Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal in 2013-14, to effectively handle increased cargo traffic. "Two new major ports will be set up in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said while presenting the Budget for 2013-14.
Ministry of Shipping, in the Maritime Agenda 2010-20, had proposed setting up of two major ports -- which handle heavy cargo traffic -- in the country. It had envisaged developing two new major ports, one each on east and west coasts.
At present there are 12 major ports in India -- Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Kolkata (with Haldia), Chennai, Cochin, Paradip, New Mangalore, Marmagao, Ennore, Tuticorin, Kandla and Visakhapatanam. This move is aimed at catering to increased import of coal and oil and container volumes in the years to come.
Cargo traffic at ports during the six-month period ended September 2012 grew by just 1.8 per cent to 455.8 million tonnes due to decline in shipments handled at major ports.
Cargo traffic or the goods transported for commercial gain increased to 455.8 million tonnes (April-September, 2012) from 448 million tonnes (April-September, 2011). There was a decline of 3.3 per cent in the cargo handled at major ports.
In contrast, non-major ports' growth increased to 185.206 million tonnes or 10.3 per cent in the first half of 2012-13 compared to 168 or 8.2 per cent in the corresponding period of 2011-12.