India is working out a plan to ramp up cargo handling capacity of its ports four fold to 10,000 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). A comprehensive ports master plan will spell out the target to be achieved by 2047, coinciding with 100 years of India’s Independence, said a senior government official.
India has 12 major ports and 78 operational non-major ports. The total annual capacity of major ports stands at 1,597.59 mtpa while non-major ports can handle 1,007.40 mtpa. This takes the country’s total operational port capacity to 2,604.99 mtpa.
In April this year, the shipping ministry had issued directions for preparation of a comprehensive master plan for ports with a planning horizon of 2047.
The Indian Ports Association, an apex body of major ports, has been directed to integrate all port master plans with respect to vision 2047 and prepare a comprehensive plan. The latest goal is well above the targets set under the ongoing Sagarmala programme that aims boosting port capacity by 800 million metric tonne per annum (mmtpa) to an overall 3,500 mmtpa by 2035.
As a part of Sagarmala programme, more than 800 projects at an estimated cost of Rs 5.5 lakh crore have been identified for implementation during 2015-2035. In a nearer goal, the Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030 has a goal to develop global standard ports in India.
The MIV 2030 estimates investments to the tune of Rs 1-1.25 lakh crore for capacity augmentation and infrastructure development at Indian ports.
Separately, India is also working on developing LNG handling and ship refuelling capacity at all major ports with an estimated investment of Rs 20,000 crore.