Huge demand for capital, maintenance dredging on cards



Mumbai: The government's plan of constructing new ports and expanding existing ones to support an expected increase in traffic is likely to create a huge demand for capital and maintenance dredging in India, a top government official said.

"The use of larger vessels, construction of new ports, an increased focus on coastal shipping, inland transportation and government support are likely to drive the demand for both capital and maintenance dredging," Shipping Ministry's Secretary K Mohandas said on the sidelines of the SMP World Expo 2010 here today.

Citing a report from the National Maritime Development Programme, he said that out of the total port development expenditure of Rs 55,800 crore, the amount earmarked for the dredging of all major Indian ports by FY'12 is estimated at Rs 6,300 crore.

As the country is expected to become a trade hub, an effective port infrastructure is vital to scale-up the country's trade development, Mohandas added.

The government's Sethusamudram Ship Channel project and its plan to develop coastal shipping and Inland Water Transport are expected to open avenues for dredging in the country, he further said.

PTI