PORT BLAIR: Port Blair may soon "officially" lose the tag of a Major Port, granted to it seven years ago, as the Central Government is of the view that executing a big-size port at that location is not feasible due to lack of container traffic.
The Ministry of Shipping had engaged a consultant to ascertain whether the declaration of Port Blair as a Major Port would be a feasible option. According to a source, the consultant has advised the Government against it as even a transshipment hub at the location would be unable to attract traffic.
Keeping these studies in mind, the Government has decided to not have a Major Port Port Blair, the source said. Major Ports are the ones that handle large volumes of traffic, Port Blair does not qualify as one. On June 1, 2010, under the Indian Ports Act, 1908, the Central Government had declared Port Blair as the 13th Major Port in the Country. The other Major Ports are Kolkata (including Dock Complex at Haldia), Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Tuticorin, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mumbai, Kandla and Ennore.
As per the traffic scenario study, conducted by the consultant of Sagarmala, cargo traffic in Indian ports is expected to grow from 1 billion tonnes per annum in 2015-16 to 2.5 billion tonnes in 2024-25.
Out of this, the traffic in existing Major Ports is expected to grow from 606 million tonnes per annum in 2015-16 to 1.1 billion tonnes in the base case scenario and to 1.29 billion tonnes in the optimistic scenario in 2024-25.
The Ministry of Shipping plans to increase the overall port capacity from 1.67 billion tonnes per annum in 2015-16 to more than 3 billion tonnes in 2024-25 to handle the growing traffic.