• Road ministry, NHAI to take up 82 highway projects for better port connectivity

    The road transport ministry and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will together take up 82 projects under the ambitious Bharatmala project, to improve port connectivity.

    These are part of the broader highway expansion plan the government plans in the coming years for connecting economic hubs to major and minor ports, via road and rail. At present, this connectivity is an issue.

    As many as 44 routes, of at least 100,000 km of roads, would be connected. A source said the proposal by the ministry of shipping had been accepted by the roads ministry. The proposal would go to the Cabinet after discussion.

    Under the Bharatmala project, the ministry is to review the national highway network, to improve connectivity to coastal and border areas, religious and tourist places. Around 1,500 major bridges and 200 rail bridges are part of this, as is connectivity to district headquarters and the Char Dham places (Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri & Gangotri in Uttarakhand).

    Road transport, highways and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari has said improving of port connectivity is a focus area, requiring investment of Rs 4 lakh crore.

    There are 12 major ports — Kandla, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, VO Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) — which handle a little over 60 per cent of India’s total cargo traffic. There are 200 non-major or minor ports — in Maharashtra (48), Gujarat (42), Tamil Nadu (15), Karnataka (10), Kerala (17), Andhra Pradesh (12), Odisha (13), Goa (5), West Bengal (1), Daman and Diu (2), Lakshadweep (10), Puducherry (2) and Andaman & Nicobar (23).

    The central government is also developing three new ports at Wadhwan (near Dahanu in Maharashtra), Sagar in West Bengal and Colachel in Tamil Nadu.

    According to 2015-16 Economic Survey, cargo traffic at all ports increased by 1.1 per cent during the first six months of the financial year (April-September).

    It increased by 4.1 per cent at major ports but declined 1 per cent at the non-major ports, as compared with the same period in 2014-15. Gerald Everett Womens Jersey

    Share This