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Niti Aayog urges to open up India's dredging market to boost ports trade

December 24, 2018: Niti Aayog has urged for the opening up of India’s dredging market to boost trade by its major ports. The government think tank says that the major ports cannot handle very large vessels in absence of proper draft depth.

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December 24, 2018: Niti Aayog has urged for the opening up of India’s dredging market to boost trade by its major ports. The government think tank says that the major ports cannot handle very large vessels in absence of proper draft depth.

It stressed on attracting more players, particularly international players, in dredging activities and attract large vessels, enabling the major ports to become hub ports. At present, the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) and a limited set of private vendors serve the Indian dredging market, limiting competition.

Foreign players will be attracted to the market if the government takes measures such as consolidating dredging contracts across cohorts of ports and withdrawing, at least temporarily, the right to first refusal given to Indian vendors, it said. To enable major ports to handle large vessels, the government has already made an action plan to increase the draft depth of ports.

Most major ports have already achieved a draft depth of 14 metres or more except Kolkata Port, where deeper draft has not been feasible because of the riverine nature of the port.

Some major ports are striving to achieve deeper drafts up to 18 metres. The outer harbour in Visakhapatnam has very deep draft of more than 18 metres. Work is in progress to create a draft of more than 18 metres in Mormugao and Kamarajar Port.


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