India Jawaharlal Nehru Port

India’s ministry of shippingis working on a plan to develop a national grid for ports, which would improve connections between the minor and major ports in the country.

Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, minister of shipping, announced the plan for the grid at the most recentMeeting of Maritime States Development Council (MSDC), and said it will be ready in six months.

Mandaviya said that there are 204 minor ports in the country, all these ports have been centres of maritime activity in the past but only 44 are currently functional.

He said the government is looking at developing connectivity between the major and minor ports so that together they can bring port-led development into the country.

A study will be done for the revival of each port, identifying the specific cargo linked to it and the downstream industry.

These findings will be shared with the states so that the non-functional minor ports can be developed and made functional.

According to Mandaviya, the coastal shipping and inland waterways sectors are poised to play a vital role in the development of the country.

He said cost-effective and pollution-free water transport can help reduce logistics costs in the country, making Indian goods more competitive in the global markets.

In addition to the national grid for ports, the ministry of shipping is planning a wider expansion of port capacity across the country.

This will be done through development projects aimed at increasing the efficiency of port operations by reducing delays and costs, digitisation, eliminating human interface and addressing environmental concerns.