Year-end Review 2008: Indian Ports and Shipping

by OldSailor on December 30, 2008

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shipping Year-end Review 2008 of Indian Ports and Shipping issued by Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways through Press Information Bureau press release dated December 29 is given below.

SHIPPING SECTOR

The approval of the Parliament for setting up of Indian Maritime University in Chennai, ‘Navratna’ status to the Shipping Corporation of India, steps to protect seafarers, acquisition of three new ships by SCI, setting up of four new lighthouses along with automation of 30 lighthouses, steps to set up National Maritime Complex, approval of cruise shipping policy and declaration of new National Waterways marked the main activities of the Shipping Sector.

Indian Maritime University

The Government has decided to establish Indian Maritime University (IMU) in Chennai by an Act of Parliament in November this year with campuses at Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam. Formation of IMU will facilitate and promote maritime studies, research and extension work. As there are a sizeable number of private institutions imparting maritime education and training, the University will standardize the quality of such education and training through affiliation and academic supervision. The existing seven maritime training and research institutes (Government and Government aided) will be merged with the IMU.

Protection Of Seafarers

The casualties of Indian seafarers have been a matter of great concern in the recent time. When casualty occurs, it is obligatory on flag state to carry out investigation under UNCLOS Article 94(7) into every marine casualty or incident of navigation on the high seas involving a ship flying its flag and causing loss of lives and serious injury to nationals of another state. While there may not be much of a problem with the responsible flag states, it becomes difficult with flags of convenience state. The Department of Shipping has taken various steps in this regard. The matter has been taken up with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for consolidation of the international conventions with regard to shipping casualty and making the law stringent to bring around the non-responsible flag state to carry out their responsibility.

National Maritime Complex

To showcase various facets of Indian Maritime Industry, it is proposed to have a National Maritime Complex at Chennai and a Society has been formed in November this year to fulfill the requirements of maritime sector by providing maritime related and integrated services at a single location. The Complex would act as a maritime hub of the region and act as a power house of the global maritime trade. It will preserve Maritime heritage and key ancient maritime traditions, which otherwise might get lost.

Cruise Shipping Policy

During this year, the Government approved Cruise Shipping Policy which is expected to carve a prominent space in world tourism and it would showcase India as a major source and destination of world tourism. The Cruise Shipping Policy was circulated to all the concerned Ministries, stakeholders, Major Port Trusts and Maritime Boards in September this year for taking further necessary steps in implementing the policy.

Inland Water Transport

During the years 2008, two waterways have been declared as new National Waterways namely: (i) the Kakinada-Puducherry stretch of Canals and the Kaluvelly Tank, Bhadrachalam – Rajahmundry stretch of River Godavari and Wazirabad – Vijayawada stretch of River Krishna (1095 kms) and (ii) the Talcher- Dhamra stretch of river Brahmani, Geonkhali- Charbatia stretch of East Coast Canal, Charbatia- Dhamra stretch of Matai river and Mangalgadi-Paradip stretch of Mahanadi delta rivers (623 kms).
Apart from this, MoU was signed between Indian Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and  NTPC for transportation of imported coal by IWT mode from Haldia  to Farakka/Kahalgaon/Barh through National Waterway. Construction of low level jetty of fixed terminal has been completed at Patna and Pandu (Guwahati). IWAI has ordered eight new dredgers.

Shipping Corporation Of India

The Government conferred the much coveted “Navratna” status on the Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. (SCI) making it the 17th Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) in the country to join the elite club of ‘Navratna PSUs’. Earlier the SCI was “Mini Ratna” Category-I PSU with effect from 24.02.2000. The Company has an ambitious ship acquisition programme of ordering/ acquiring 62 new building ships during the 11th Five Year Plan, which forms part of the National Maritime Development Programme. Presently the Company has total 29 ships on order at various reputed shipyards. During the year, the SCI has taken delivery of 3 new building ships which have been named as follows: “SCI Chennai” “SCI Mumbai” and “M.T. Desh Viraat”.

International Cooperation

In order to deepen and expand the cooperation between the two countries in the fields of ports and maritime transport and logistics, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in February this year with the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management of Netherland. Similarly, a trilateral Agreement among India, Brazil and South Africa signed in October this year envisaging a five year Action Plan on Maritime transport Project to further strengthen Maritime relation and consolidate them on the basis of quality and mutual benefit.

Aid To Navigation

Four New Lighthouses at Minicoy (Lakshdweep), Honavar (Karnataka), Iskapallipalem (AP) and Mayabunder (A&N) have been established during the year 2008. Apart from this, five Racons on Mumbai High Platform are being procured and automation of Mumbai Lighthouse Region (28 Lighthouses) with five Remote Control Stations and automation of Port Blair Lighthouses Region (30 Lighthouses) with three Remote Control Stations is underway. EFC for establishment of a National Automatic Identification System (AIS) Network with 85 base stations has been completed. Rs. 116.00 crore has been collected as Lighthouse (Revenue) till 30th November 2008.

Process on for two International Size Shipyards

National Maritime Development Programme has envisaged setting up of two international size shipyards. For this purpose Govt. has nominated Ennore Port Ltd. And Mumbai Port rust as the nodal agencies for East-Coast and West Coast respectively who have been authorized to appoint consultants to identify three or four alternative sites each for setting up of shipyard on West Coast and East Coast of India and also suggest optimal location with detailed justification. The process for appointment of consultants has been initiated.

PORT SECTOR

Mode Concession Agreement (MCA)

The Government has finalized a Model Concession Agreement (MCA) to ensure uniformity in the contractual agreements to be entered by the Major Ports with the selected bidders for the Build, Operate & Transfer (BOT) projects to be developed through Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. It will also enable the prospective bidders to have prior knowledge of the contractual obligations of both parties and therefore, ensure transparency.

New Tariff Guideline

For fixing tariffs, the Department of Shipping has formulated new Tariff Guidelines, Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) an autonomous body under the Department of Shipping, shall now follow a normative cost based approach for fixing tariffs. These tariffs will act as ceiling and will be indexed to inflation and the private operators are free to charge below these ceilings.

Rail Road Connectivity of Major Ports

The Committee on Infrastructure (CoI) headed by the Prime Minister set up a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) under the Chairmanship of Member Secretary (Planning Commission) to review the rail road connectivity of Major Ports which recommended that each Major Port should preferably have minimum four lane road and double line rail connectivity and this should be established in fixed time frame.

CoS recommended timely completion of the eight ongoing rail connectivity projects (Haldia, Paradip-2 projects, NMPT, Kandla-2 projects, JNPT and Tuticorin) and ten ongoing road projects (Haldia, Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai-Ennore, Tuticorin, Cochin, NMPT, Mormugao, JNPT-2 projects). CoS also recommenced five rail connectivity (Kolkata, Mormugao, Haldia, Mumbai and Ennore) and four road connectivity projects (Kolkata, Paradip, Tuticorin and Cochin). Railways have already completed projects for Rail connectivity to the Major Ports at Haldia, New Mangalore, Kandla and JNPT. The project for Road connectivity to VPT was also completed.

Ennore Port Ltd. (EPL)

Ennore Port Ltd. (EPL) has also signed the Concession Agreement with the selected bidders for development of an eight MTPA Iron Ore Terminal on BOT basis. The estimated capital cost of these projects is Rs. 348.00 crores and Rs. 480.00 crores respectively. The Government has approved the project for undertaking Capital Dredging-Phase-I by EPL at an expenditure of Rs. 90 crores. EPL will bear the entire expenditure for this Capital Dredging project for providing a depth of (-) 15 metre below CD for the new Marine Liquid, Iron Ore and Coal Terminals being developed on BOT Basis. The physical progress upto the month of November 2008 is 80 per cent.

Developmental Activities to improve connectivity

18.3 km four-lane Elevated Expressway from Chennai Port to Maduravoyal on National Highway 4 has been approved by the Government recently.

Chennai-Ennore Port Road Connectivity of 29.3 kms length with an estimated project cost of Rs. 309 crores is also underway. A progress of 9.7 per cent in case of Phase I has been completed.

4-laning of Tuticorin-Madurai Road (NH-45 B) with road length of 144 kms at an estimated cost of Rs. 629 crores has been sanctioned, work awarded and Financial Close achieved in January’07 and scheduled to be completed by 2010.

Doubling of Madurai-Dindigul Section of railway line connecting Tuticorin Port of 62.06 kms. Length with estimated project cost of Rs. 126 crores has been sanctioned and the work has been awarded. Ambaturai-Kodaikanal road doubling has been merged with his work.

Project Report for Puttur-Attipattu Chord Line connecting Ennore Port 144 kms length at an estimated cost of Rs. 435 crores in under preparation. Project is sanctioned in Budget 2008-09 on SPV mode with 50 per cent cost sharing with Ennore Port.

Source: PIB Press Release dated December 29.

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