The Shipping Ministry is hoping to award 30 port projects that entail an investment of Rs 24,000 crore this fiscal, a top official said here today.

The projects, which include the fourth terminal at the JNPT and Chennai Port’s mega container terminal, will augment the capacity by 280 mtpa, Shipping Secretary P K Sinha told reporters at Kanhoji Angre Fort here.

Lighthouse tourism project

He launched the country’s first ‘lighthouse tourism project’, under which the lighthouse at the Angre Fort would be developed as a tourism destination.

The projects to be awarded include some which could not be awarded last fiscal, Sinha said.

It may be noted that against the target of awarding 42 projects cumulatively entailing Rs 14,000 crore investments in FY 2013, the ministry could clear only half of investment value.

According to Sinha, 32 projects with over Rs 7,000 crore in investment, having the potential to increase capacity by 138 mtpa, were awarded last fiscal.

He sought to dispel the notion that the ministry is slow, pointing out that average was five to seven projects per year over the last two decades.

The ministry had taken several initiatives, including easing of the process of obtaining security clearances which had hurt the progress of some proposals in the past, he said.

Under the revised policy, all the security agencies involved in granting licenses are required to clear the proposal in three months, and once the clearance is granted it is valid of three years, he said.

(This article was published on April 5, 2013)
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