government has sought bids to build two new ports at Keni and Pavinakurve with
private funds worth Rs 7,168 crore as the southern state looks to make up for
lost time and catch up with other coastal states that have made big strides in
developing port infrastructure.
Karnataka is the only coastal
state that does not have a privately run non-major port (those administered
by the state government) to boast. The state has a major port at New Mangalore
which is administered and run by the Union government.
.The planned mega ports at Keni and
Pavinakurve were announced by Chief Minister Bommai in his budget speech.
Aside Keni and
Pavinakurve greenfield ports, the Karnataka government has called expressions
of interest from private investors for developing Malpe, Byndoor and old
Mangalore ports as part of a pipeline of 25 projects wherein the scope covers
commercial cargo, cruise tourism, shipyards, marinas, seaplanes, and other
This includes 12 projects that
were approved under the Sagarmala programme to be funded
jointly by the Union government and the Karnataka government.
The planned port
at Bhavikeri Keni village in Ankola taluk of Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada
district is estimated to cost Rs4,118.84 crores, while the proposed Pavinakurve
port, expected to cost Rs3,047.86 crores, is located on the banks of Sharavathi
and Badagani rivers near Pavinakurve village in Honnavar taluk of Uttara
Keni will be built to handle
30 mt of cargo in the first phase which can be expanded to 56.5 mt based on
have capacity to handle 14 mt of cargo in the initial phase. The capacity can
be expanded to handle 37.4 mt by 2050. Both
the ports will have water depths capable of handling Capesize ships, the
largest of the dry bulk ships. The private developers will be free to set rates
for services provided at the ports.
Port industry sources,
though, say that the “stringent conditions” stipulated by the Karnataka
Maritime Board for the projects could turn out to be a dampener. Port industry
sources said that the Karnataka government’s decision to award the port
projects to the bidder quoting the highest royalty per metric ton of cargo
would push up the port handling costs and defeat the larger cause of reducing
the logistics costs espoused by the Union government.
government disagrees with this view.