By Accommodation Times Bureau
As directed by the Prime Minister, a review meeting of the Port Sector taken in PMO examined the progress made in the implementation of PPP projects in major ports and the progress of dredging activities. This was a follow-up to a meeting taken three months ago in which instructions were given to the Ministry to speed up the implementation of PPP projects so that the constraints in port capacity would be removed.
One of the major bottlenecks in the past in moving ahead was the issue of securing clearances from various ministries such as Home, Defence and Environment. In the past three months, almost all projects have secured clearances as a result of close monitoring and follow-up by PMO. New processes are being put in place to obtain security clearances speedily in future.
Three major PPP projects in Mumbai (JNPT), Kandla and Visakhapatnam totaling nearly Rs.8000 crore have been awarded, creating an additional capacity of more than 79 million tons per annum. The other PPP projects are also moving ahead at full speed and most of them will be awarded within the first half of this financial year, with some of the projects being awarded within the next two months.
On improving dredging at ports, this area is now gaining greater attention and the Ministry of Shipping is fast tracking dredging activities. A Committee in the Planning Commission is looking into the funds requirement for dredging and a plan is being drawn up to improve the draft at ports so that larger vessels can be accommodated.
This is one of the most rapid forward movements in the Port Sector in terms of pushing through PPP projects. Projects will be monitored periodically by the PMO.