Jawaharlal Nehru Port Terminal (JNPT), the largest transhipment
terminal in the country, will be developed as a hub port
in the next three years under Prime Minister A B Vajpayee's
Sagarmala dream project.
port will be developed with private sector participation
with the emphasis on improving infrastructure facilities,
deepening of approach channels which would enable a faster
turnaround for vessels docking at the port, according
to Ravi Buddhiraja, chairman, JNPT.
Sagarmala Project aims to create a port-studded coastline
for India, focusing on developing all major and minor
ports in the region, with an outlay of around Rs 100,000
is also planning to invest around Rs 600 crore to develop
deeper navigation facilities, of which between 10 to 12
per cent will be used for annual maintenance. The approach
channel will be deepened to 13.5 metres, which will enable
the port to handle fourth and fifth generation container
ships, Buddhiraja said.
channel depth of the port is currently 10.9 metres, with
a quayside draft of 13.5 metres, as a result of which
it can handle only third generation container ships. "If
the port has the capability to handle fourth and fifth
generation mother vessels, Indian exporters and importers
will not have to tranship their consignment through other
countries," says Kishore G Apte, deputy chairman,
projections are based on a feasibility study conducted
by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), he
said, adding that the development would reduce transshipments
at neighbouring ports like Colombo, Singapore and Dubai.
reduction in freight rates from the country is also likely,
if the port is transferred into a hub port.
of an additional railway track, apart from the single
track, which would link the port to the Indian Railways,
upgrading approach roads from the national highways and
to Navi Mumbai by doubling the current width are also
on the anvil, he said.
shipping minister Shatrughan Sinha, who inaugurated a
hawkers' zone at JNPT said that a proposal for the development
of JNPT as a hub port would be submitted to the Cabinet
for approval. The development of the hub port would help
in increasing forex flows into the country, he added.
had received financial support of Rs 956 crore from the
Government of India, World Bank and other port trusts,
of which the port has refunded Rs 468.28 crore.
port has achieved a combined throughput of 2,174,000 TEUs
with Nava Seva International Container Terminal (NSICT)
in 2003, up by a notable 17.5 per cent from the 1,850,345
handled in 2002. The increase in container traffic has
resulted in an increase in operating income by 18.53 percent
over the previous year.