Weekly Current Affairs

Cabinet okays setting up major port at Enayam in Tamil Nadu [Infrastructure]

  • The Cabinet has approved setting up a major port at Enayam near Colachel in Tamil Nadu. This would be the country’s 13th major port .
  • India has 12 major ports -- Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) -- which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country’s total cargo traffic.
  • A SPV will develop the port infrastructure including dredging and reclamation, construction of breakwater, ensuring connectivity links, etc.
  • Fishermen in coastal villages of Tamil Nadu have been opposing construction of this port fearing sea erosion that could lead to loss of their livelihood.
  • At present, there are only a few ports in India that have sufficient draft and can match global cargo handling efficiencies.
  • Currently, all of India’s trans-shipment (transfer of shipment from one carrier to another during transit) traffic gets handled in Colombo, Singapore and other international ports.
  • Indian port industry loses out upto Rs 1,500 crore of revenues each year.
  • This major port at Enayam will act as a major gateway container port for Indian cargo that is presently trans-shipped outside the country. It would also reduce the logistics cost for exporters and importers in South India who depend on trans- shipment in Colombo thus incurring additional port handling charges.
  • The government plans to add eight major ports in the country including Wadhawan in Maharashtra, Sagar in West Bengal and Colachel in Tamil Nadu.