India: Govt mulls leasing port land to private players for cargo projects


To fast track development of major ports, government is mulling giving land parcels of state-run ports to private players "on lease" for various projects.

India's top 12 major ports have an estimated 2.4 lakh acres of land, a substantial chunk of which could be utilised for port projects.

"There are separate plans for Kolkata and Mumbai ports. We are making two smart cities at Kandla and Paradip, studies for which have begun. Private players could be part of our projects but land to them will be strictly on the basis of lease," Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari told PTI.

He said as development activities are gaining momentum, a large number of projects have been initiated at ports.

"I am against the idea of selling any government property to private players," the minister stressed.

Land parcels available with major ports could be given to players for a maximum period of 30 years on lease through tender cum auction.

An official said for Mormugao Port Trust, the lease rental has been fixed at Rs 23 lakh per annum per acre. For Kamrajar Port, it has been fixed at 5.89 lakh per annum for project related activities, while for cargo related activities it has been fixed at Rs 18.19 lakh per annum.

Likewise different rents have been fixed for other ports.

The official said the move is aimed at generating committed business for major ports on a long-term basis by facilitating development and operation of dedicated facilities by industries which are substantially dependent on it for import and/or export of their cargo and thus play a catalytic role for the Sagarmala project.

The Mumbai Port Trust alone has about 753 hectares with it and was earlier valued at about Rs 46,000 crore.

The National Perspective Programme for Sagarmala was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Maritime India summit earier this month.

Under the port modernisation drive, 53 projects are expected to be undertaken to ensure the port handling capacity is increased by 1,000 million tonne per annum, which includes 6 new mega port projects.

The 12 major ports in India -- Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Managlore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, Paradip, V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam and Kolkata (including Haldia) -- handle approximately 61 per cent of cargo traffic.

Source: Business Standard 

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