After Chabahar, India turns to Bangladesh port


The government is looking to develop a port in Bangladesh, after signing a pact to develop a port in Chabahar, Iran.

“Bangladesh is very much keen to work with us and hence the Ministry of Shipping, the Ministry of External Affairs and the government of Bangladesh are currently in talks to explore options available there (in Bangladesh),” Union Minister for Shipping, Highway and Road transport Nitin Gadakari said.

He also described the recently concluded Chabahar portdevelopment agreement with Iran as a game changer. “Gas and electricity are cheaper in Iran, while in our country there is a shortage of gas. Further, the Chabahar port will give direct access to Indian goods to the markets in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, bypassing Pakistan,” he said.

Chabahar port development is set to complete within 18 months and has an investment of Rs 650-700 crore.Kandla port in Gujarat would benefit the most by the Chabahar port agreement, said Gadkari. “The agreement with Iran will not just help Kandla but will accelerate growth in Gujarat.”

In the year ended March, among the 12 major ports, Kandla handled the highest cargo of 100.05 million tonnes. The total cargo handled by all the major ports stood at 606.37 million tonnes, said a ministry release. These ports garnered a net profit of Rs 4,200 crore, which the ministry would use for development of the sector.

Gadkari on Friday highlighted the shipping ministry’s achievements in the last couple of years, along with its plans for the coastal shipping sector. He addressed the media in all coastal states through video conference.

To boost port-led development, the ministry plans to add two ports in Andhra Pradesh and two in Tamil Nadu. A fifth one is being set up in Karnataka at Rs 4,200 crore. “The location for the four new ports is yet to be identified and a study is underway,” said Gadkari.

The government aims to make an investment of Rs 25 lakh crore in ports and inland waterways and plans to create 50 million jobs along the coastline.

Specific to investment in Maharashtra, the state is set to get Rs 95,000 crore for port-related projects under the Centre’s port and port-led development programme. This investment includes two expressways connecting the Ahmedabad-Mumbai industrial corridor and the Sanathnagar industrial cluster near Hyderabad with the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Navi Mumbai.

While the Ahmedabad Expressway project would cost Rs 18,000 crore, the Hyderabad-Mumbai project is likely to be implemented at Rs 22,000 crore. In addition, a port was being set up at Wadhavan near Dahanu with an investment outlay of Rs 9,300 crore, said Gadkari. He said a steel cluster would come up in Southern Maharashtra/Goa region with an investment potential of Rs 10,500 crore.

Source: Business Standard 

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