Economic Times: The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs gave clearance to as many as seven projects of the Shipping Ministry, paving way for the bids to be opened for the various port projects in the coming months.
“There are few projects that have been approved and some of the bidders have been given clearance. We will now go ahead with the projects and will try to achieve the target set,” said Rakesh Shrivastava, Joint Secretary, Ports.
According to the report sent by the Home Ministry, various port projects including the construction of a quay for dry bulk cargo at Visakhapatnam Port and a berth at Tuticorin for handling thermal coal have been given clearance and the Ministry has forwarded the names of the cleared bidders to the shipping ministry. JNPT’s channel deepening project has also been given clearance by the Ministry and the bids are expected to be opened soon.
The Ministry of Shipping is looking to award 23 port projects worth Rs. 16,000 crore in the current financial year, but only one has been sanctioned so far. The construction of the fourth terminal at JNPT was the lone project to be sanctioned while the construction of a container terminal at Chennai Port had run into trouble after Mundra Port, the selected bidder, offered very little revenue share for the port.
In December, Union Minister for Shipping, G.K. Vasan had said that the Ministry is looking to achieve at least 70 per cent of the port projects planned for the current financial year as clearances had to be issued by various ministries.