Sunday, August 6, 2006

No More Ports for Gujarat

The Planning Commission has shut down Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's proposal to develop more ports in the state. 
Modi government had proposed that the country's land-locked states can select a location (along the Gujarat coastline) for port and can invest in its development. Modi suggested this on a paper for the 11th Five Year Plan to the Planning Commission.
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia bounced back saying that "Various ports already exist in Gujarat. What is the need to invest in developing new ports?"  , it does sound bitter but the fact is that there is need to upgrade existing port then to create new one. Gujarat's 1,600-km long coastline (longest in India) has 41 ports — 1 major, 11 intermediate and 29 minor. A host of major special economic zones (SEZs) too have already been set up along the coastline. 
Kandla, catering to various sectors, Mundra in Kutch, Jamnagar for petrochemicals, Dahej in Bharuch for chemicals and petrochemicals and Positra for Sea King Infrastructure among others. Surat will be a multi purpose SEZ are one at the top. 
Planning Commission estimated that around Rs 50,000 crore would need to be invested in the country's 12 major ports alone in order to raise their capacities to handle large vessels with less turnaround times by 2011. 
Sources say that if Modi's proposal is cleared by Parliament under the 11th Five Year Plan, it will be a win-win situation for all parties involved.

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