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Gujarat has the most non-operational minor ports : Sarbananda Sonowal

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NEW DELHI : Gujarat has the highest number of “non-active” ports in the country with 58 per cent of the total 48 minor ports in the state lying non-operational, according to state data tabled in the Lok Sabha during the recently concluded winter session.

In stark contrast, neighbouring Maharashtra that also has 48 minor ports, has zero non-active ports, a written reply from Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways – there are 28 non-active ports in Gujarat and they account for over 32 per cent of the total non-active ports .

According to the written reply, 86 of the 217 minor ports in 13 states and Union territories are non-active. Officials from the Gujarat ports and transport department, heavy silting, and obsolete infrastructure have made the ports non-functional. A senior official from the ports and transport department said that there are issues with the erected structures, lack of dredging, and link infrastructure in some ports.

However, many of them are in jeopardy, and the state government intends to upgrade a few. The most important port in South Gujarat is in Nargol, where the state government is planning to build new ports, including one. In stark contrast to other areas of Gujarat, all minor ports in the Kutch district, including Mundra, are operating, as determined by Adani Port and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), accounting for 68% of cargo transported by minor ports in the region.

All major ports in the country handled 362 million tonnes of cargo between April and November 2021.Minor ports in Gujarat handled 265.69 million tonnes of cargo in the eight months to date. During the curren tfinancial year 2021-22, Gujarat handled just 11 percent of maritime cargo, with the remaining 89% being overseas cargo, with imported crude oil accounting for a lion’s share. Minor ports under the Maharashtra Maritime Board saw 39.3 percent growth during the same period, while Kerala Maritime Board saw 191 percent growth, while Goa, the Captain of Ports, saw 166% growth.

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