The Planning Commission has said the capacity of Indian ports will have to nearly double to 2,302 million tonnes (MT) over the next five years to be able to handle the fast growing cargo traffic. As stated in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) document, to meet the overall projected traffic of 1,758.26 MT by 2016-17, the total capacity of the port sector is envisaged to be 2,301.63 MT.
As per the 12th Plan, the traffic forecast by the end of the 12th Plan would be 943.06 MT and 815.20 MT for the major and non-major ports respectively with corresponding port capacities of 1,241.83 MT and 1,059.80 MT respectively. Total capacity of the ports in India, which include 12 major and over 200 non-majors, stood at 1,247.45 MT in 2011-12 and together they handled 971 MT cargo. The Plan anel expects Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to have the maximum capacity at 155.61 MT by 2016-17 followed by Kandla Port at 145.13 MT.
Almost 95 per cent by volume, and 70 per cent by value of India’s global merchandise trade is carried through the sea route. The document said the average turnaround time of ships at the ports is higher caused by delays due to port-related inefficiency. Thus, the plan has advised that a time-bound plan should be made so that by the end of the 12th Plan, the turnaround time matches with most efficient ports. This action plan must be designed and put in place quickly.