Logistics

Too many ports will ruin the coastline : DCI chief

Ch RS Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 23, 2015 Published on January 23, 2015

There seems to be a scramble among coastal states - Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu - to take up the construction of as many ports as possible, but the ecological costs and consequences should also be borne in mind, according to Capt DK Mohanty, Chairman and Managing Director of Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) based at Visakhapatnam.

He was speaking here on Friday at the East Coast Maritime Business Summit organised by the Hyderabad-based magazine, Maritime Gateway. He said the AP Government had announced its intention to take up 14 new ports and "not to be outdone the Tamil Nadu and Odisha Governments have also made similar announcements. But the moot point is: are so many ports necessary ?"

Demonstrating the beach erosion at Ennore port in Tamil Nadu through slides, Mohanty said beach erosion on a large scale was visible at Visakhapatnam also recently. "The DCI has taken up beach nourishment work at Ennore and Visakhapatnam and other places. I am not an expert but I feel the construction of breakwaters is leading to beach erosion. Therefore, we must debate whether we should have so many ports or a few efficient, well-maintained ports. I am not arguing against all new ports, but there is a limit," he said.

He said that beach nourishment and long-term measures to protect the beach should be factored into the construction cost of new ports, whether in the public sector or private sector, and permission should be given only on that condition.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 23, 2015
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