India to issue tenders for consultant for Colachel port by March

Mumbai: The government will issue tenders by March to find a consultant for the proposed transhipment port planned at Colachel in Tamil Nadu, Union minister of shipping and road transport Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.

Colachel, Sagar in West Bengal and Wadhawan at Dahanu in Maharashtra will be the three new greenfield ports on the Indian coast, he said on the sidelines of the Make in India Week event in Mumbai.

“We have already initiated investments worth Rs.80,000 crore for mechanisation, modernisation and computerisation of ports under Sagarmala project,” he said.

Colachel is being promoted as transshipment hub because of deep drought of 18.5 metres as compared to Vizhinjam in Kerala, N. Muruganandam, managing director, Indian Ports Association said.

The Vizhinjam port, being developed by Adani Group, was also considered to be promoted as a transhipment hub to capture the container business. Several international ports like Singapore and Jebel Ali have more than one transshipment hubs.

Murugandandam said the southern tip of India is ideally suited for the transshipment terminal.

Separately, Gadkari said the country needs to reduce logistics cost, which would be imperative for the success of the Make in India initiative.

Gadkari said there was a renewed focus on developing inland waterways which is globally recognized as a fuel efficient, cost effective and environment friendly mode of transport. He said work was also under way to use LNG as bunker fuel, which would reduce the overall cost for the sector.

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