Updated: December 30, 2021 2:17:02 am
Gujarat has the highest number of “non-active” ports in the country with 58 per cent of the total 48 minor ports in the state lying non-operational, according to state data tabled in the Lok Sabha during the recently concluded winter session.
In stark contrast, neighbouring Maharashtra that also has 48 minor ports, has zero non-active ports, a written reply from Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways stated. There are 28 non-active ports in Gujarat and they account for over 32 per cent of the total non-active ports in the country.
Of the 217 minor ports in 13 states and Union territories, 86 are non-active, states the written reply. Kerala and Odisha with 12 non-active ports each and Andhra Pradesh with 11 non-active ports are among the states that have high number of non-operational ports.
Officials from the Gujarat ports and transport department, heavy silting and old infrastructure have rendered the ports non-functional.
“The old ports are heavily silted and some of them have old infrastructure such as small jetties. Some have stability issues regarding erected structures, lack of dredging and link infrastructure,” said a senior official from the ports and transport department.
“Others ports like Veraval are being used for fishing activities. However, many of them are in deteriorating conditions and the state government is planning to upgrade few of them,” the official added.
The biggest chunk of non-active or non-operational ports is in South Gujarat where the state government is looking to build new ports, including the one at Nargol. In South Gujarat, Bharuch, Khambhat, Bhagwa, Onjal, Kolak, Valsad, Umargam, Umarsadi and Billimora are some of the non-active ports, while Mangrol, Pipavav (Victor), Mahuva, Rupen, Sachana, Pindhara, Jodia, Talaja and Ghogha are among the non-operational ports in Saurashtra region, state government officials said. In stark contrast to other parts of Gujarat, all minor ports in Kutch district, including Mundra, managed by Adani Port and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) are operational.
Despite having the highest number of non-active ports, Gujarat accounts for 68 per cent of cargo handled by minor ports in the country. Between April and November 2021, all the minor ports in the country together handled 362 million tonnes of cargo.
Of the total cargo handled in past eight months, minor ports in Gujarat accounted for 265.69 million tonnes. Gujarat handled only 11 per cent coastal cargo, while the remaining 89 per cent was overseas cargo, with imported crude oil occupying a lion’s share.
Growth in cargo traffic by minor ports in Gujarat has been single digits during the curren tfinancial year 2021-’22. Between April and November 2021, minor ports in Gujarat recorded only a 8.6 per cent growth in cargo traffic. In comparison, Minor ports under Maharashtra Maritime Board clocked 39.3 per cent growth during the same period.
Though ports in Kerala and Goa have minor share in total cargo handled in the country, Kerala Maritime Board recorded 191 per cent growth in traffic, while Captain of Ports, Goa, saw 164 per cent rise in traffic during the same period.
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