Monday, February 20, 2012

Shipping Minister Vasan hints at privatising major ports

Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on Feb 20, 2012:
CHENNAI: All major ports in the country are aiming at bringing structural changes in the administration to improve organisational effectiveness, Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan said.
Inaugurating the eighth edition of the PIANC international conference on Coastal and Port Engineering in Developing Countries (COPEDEC-2012) here on Sunday, Vasan said, “In addition to capacity augmentation, all the (13 major) ports are planning towards implementing the landlord port concept, limiting their role to maintenance of (approach) channels and basic infrastructure,  leaving development, operation, management of (container) terminal and cargo handling facilities to the private sector.
Besides aiming at progressive use of information technology to cover the entire gamut of operations, Indian ports are gearing up to meet the anticipated demand from the trade in the years to come, Vasan added.
Strongly pitching for an economical and safe designs to improve the standard of ports in the country, Vasan said, “Research and development work in the (port engineering) field assumes significance to find innovative ways and means to develop structures which can meet the challenges of ever-changing size of ships in the global scenario.”
Engineering colleges and research institutes should tune into the present day requirements in the (port engineering) field and encourage students and research scientists to devote more time to these aspects, the minister added.
The eighth international conference is being organised for the first time in India at IIT Madras.About 230 delegates from 35 countries are participating in the five-day international conference.

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