India Plans Development of Six Mega Ports by 2047
In a recent policy update, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways outlined ambitious plans for six coastal mega ports by 2047, in line with the Maritime India Vision. The policy underscores expanding economic and strategic interests in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
India’s Existing Coastline and Ports
- 7,517 km of natural coastline from Gujarat to West Bengal
- A vast exclusive economic zone of over 2 million sq km in the IOR
- Current cargo handling capacity over 1500 million metric tonnes
Cluster-based Mega Port Development
Identification of Six Port Clusters
- 4 clusters minimum capacity exceeding 300 million tonnes (MT)
- 2 clusters with minimum capacity exceeding 500 MT targets
- Envisages large-scale public-private infrastructure projects
- Support expanding global maritime trade till 2047 and beyond
- Enable regional acceleration under ‘Act East’ through connectivity
- Strategic port control upholding India’s IOR national interests
Enhancing Existing Major Ports
- Development of auxiliary infrastructure via private stakeholders
- Technological upgrading for efficiency maximisation
- Expected addition of 600 MT capacity via ongoing projects
Apart from boosting India’s capacity to handle augmented global shipping traffic until 2047 and beyond, explicitly linking port clusters with Act East policies signals the primacy accorded to planes linking ASEAN and East Asian economies.
With rival China’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and Belt & Road Initiative underscoring its ambition over Indo-Pacific trade networks and waterways, India’s gambit sponsors similar ideas promoting national stakes.
Category: Economy & Banking Current Affairs - 2024