New land policy for top 13 state-run ports by October: Govt

The government today said it will come out with a new policy to unlock the value of huge tracts of land lying unutilised at the top 13 state-owned ports in the country.

New Delhi: The government today said it will
come out with a new policy to unlock the value of huge tracts
of land lying unutilised at the top 13 state-owned ports in
the country.

"We are in the process of finalising a new land policy
for major ports that would allow them to allot spare land to
parties for carrying out economic activity on current market
rates. The new policy will be announced this month," Shipping
Secretary K Mohandas told agency.
"With the new policy, not only our major ports can put
their spare land to commercial use through auction at current
market prices, but at the same time, (they can) re-allot the
land on new terms to users on expiry of the lease period to
get more revenues for development," he said.

Ports have huge tracts of land lying with them, he said,
adding that the quantum of unutilised land varies from port to
port.

Sources said that 13 major ports administered by the
Centre -- Kandla, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mormugao, New
Mangalore, Kochi, Kolkata, Haldia, Paradip, Visakhapatnam,
Chennai, Tuticorin and Port Blair -- together have about
2,25,000 acres of land.
"Land with the ports vary and the Kandla port in Gujarat
possesses about 1,80,000 acres alone, given its strategic
location and control of Gandhidham Township, whereas Chennai
port controls only 300 acres of land," a source said.

Every major port shall have a land use plan covering the
entire land owned or managed by it and land can be allotted
for economic activities either on a licence or lease basis, he
added.

The new policy was felt necessary to sustain and improve
the efficiency of major ports, as it is an established
practice globally for ports to allot land for carrying out
economic activity, while port lands have also been used to set
up special economic zones.

The new policy sets out the terms to be followed by the
port trusts for allotment of port land and is applicable to
all major port trusts, except for land relating to the
Gandhidham township of the Kandla Port Trust.

Around 95 per cent of the country`s exports by volume and
70 per cent by value are transported by sea and the major
ports account for 75 per cent of the total cargo by volume
handled at Indian ports.

PTI

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