‘Looking for economic gain’, India seeks bids for Rs 6,000 cr expansion of Gujarat’s Deendayal Port
India has solicited global bids for a massive expansion project worth nearly Rs 6,000 crore of Deendayal Port in Kandla, Gujarat, the country’s largest port by cargo volume handled.
News18 has accessed global tender documents launched last week which seek a public-private partnership (PPP) for the mega expansion which involves the establishment of a new mega-container terminal and a new multi-purpose cargo berth at Deendayal Port. The terminal is expected to cost around Rs 4,244 crore, while the sleeper could cost Rs 1,720 crore. This will significantly increase the handling capacity of Deendayal Port in Kandla, amid competition from the private Mundra Port in Gujarat, which is India’s largest commercial port.
“Given the expected recovery in the country’s economic growth, the steady growth of dry cargo traffic in Kandla and the overused dry cargo handling infrastructure at Kandla Port, it is estimated that additional facilities are needed. “, mentions the tender document. Cargo traffic volumes in India had fallen during the Covid-19 pandemic, but have seen a resurgence since 2021. Tender documents indicate that the two new projects would cater for future growth in Kandla in cargo traffic. general-purpose and container freight.
Deendayal Port mainly serves the hinterland of North India including the landlocked states of Jammu and Kashmir (now a UT), Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The current capacity of the port for handling dry cargo is 59.96 MMTPA (Million Metric Tons Per Annum) and containers of 6 Lakh TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) per year. The new projects are expected to add 18.33 MMTPA of dry cargo handling capacity and 2.19 million TEUs of container traffic. The new terminal and berth are expected to be constructed within 30 to 36 months of contract award.
The new berth will be used for handling multi-purpose cargoes like food grains, fertilizers, coal, ores and minerals and steel cargoes etc. It will also be designed for handling vessels up to 6,000 TEUs of containers. Utility corridors, rail track connectivity, rail loading station and required back-up area will also be developed. Deendayal Port in Kandla covers 330 hectares.
Indian ports and history
India, with a coastline of around 7,000 km, has 12 major ports, all of which except Ennore are self-governing bodies managed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Indian government. The port of Kandla was built in 1931 and in 1952 Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone for the new port on the west coast of India in the Gulf of Kutch as the port of Karachi went to the Pakistan. The government describes Deendayal Port as “the port of the new millennium”.
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