The second major port in Andhra Pradesh is coming up at Ramaiahpatnam in Prakasam district and the proposal has been referred to the Union Cabinet, according to the National Shipping Board Chairman P.V.K Mohan.
In an interview today, Mohan, who was here to participate in the two-day East Coast Maritime Summit organised by magazine, Maritime Gateway, said the Andhra Pradesh Government had identified the site for the second major port and it would take care of land acquisition and the rehabilitation package.
"The State Government will get 11 per cent equity and the rest will be distributed among the central PSUs such as Visakhapatnam Port, the NMDC and others. It is a fast-track project being taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 8,000 crore; initially, there will be six berths. Later, with private participation, more may be added," he said.
Mohan said roughly 4,500 acres of land would be needed for the project. Another fast track major port project was coming up at Sagar in West Bengal at an estimated investment of Rs 9,000 crore and the Diamond Harbour Container Terminal was also being set up in West Bengal, he said.
"Union Shipping Minister G.K Vasan has written to all the maritime States with a proposal to set up an additional major port. Apart from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, three other States - Kerala, Gujarat and Karnataka - have evinced interest but it is still in the preliminary stage," he said.
He said efforts were being made to bring major ports and non-major ports under a uniform regime. "The utility of the Tariff Authority for Major Ports is also a debatable issue," he said.
Referring to containerisation, he said there was a definite need to create more facilities for handling container cargo in the ports. He said the rates for handling container cargo in the country were higher in comparison with other countries. Therefore, ports would have to cut costs and deliver quality service. "Shipping is in a bad shape right now due to the global slowdown but things will improve in future. We need the additional capacities," he said.