Improving operational efficiency of Major Ports main focus of Govt: Gadkari

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NEW DELHI, SEPT 23: The focus of the present government is on modernization of Major Ports and increasing their operational efficiency as the development of ports is important for increasing the GDP of the country, said Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari at a press conference here today.
The Minister said the decline observed in the performance of Major Ports from 2008 to 2014 has reversed and they have shown improvement in their performance in 2015. The profit margins of Major Ports declined from 43% on 2008 to 28% in 2014 and the market share of Major Ports during the period declined from 72% to 57%.
Gadkari said with new initiatives undertaken to improve efficiency of Major Ports the improvements have been registered in their performance with the volume of cargo handled increasing by 4.6% and revenue increasing by 8.7% in 2015.
The initiatives undertaken to improve efficiency of Major Ports include delegation of more powers to Major Ports, capital dredging to 18 meters through PPP mode in Mormugao Port, new scheme to assist ports to mitigate oil pollution, new scheme to set up coastal berths, passenger jetties etc, establishment of new company Indian Port Rail Corporation to focus on last mile connectivity, new company India Ports Global to take up projects abroad, Sagarmala project to promote port led development, equipments and technology upgradation, mechanization and initiatives for large vessel handling.
The Minister informed that the Major Ports will generate 200MW of green power which include 150MW solar power and 50 MW wind energy.
He said the port sector in India needs to adopt best international practices.
Gadkari said his priorities include treatment of waste water at ports, use of bio-diesel to reduce air pollution and opening of modern hospitals and medical facilities at ports.
Earlier speaking on the occasion Secretary, Shipping Rajive Kumar said as the Government is promoting coastal and inland waterways trade, the efficiency of ports has great bearing on cost of transportation.

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