to enhance cargo movement through waterways, the state government will present
a proposal at the ‘Emerging Kerala’ meet to woo investors to launch coastal
“Coastal shipping projects will be an advantage for the growth of International Container Transshipment Terminal, Vallarpadam. Foreign companies can launch services in our waters if they have an Indian partner. Limited foreign investment is allowed in this sector,” said Ports Minister K Babu.
The Kerala State Inland Navigation
Corporation (KSINC) has already framed a project to launch services connecting
Vallarpadam to ports in Gujarat and Maharashtra and Kollam within three months.
According to the statistics available with the trading community, around six lakh tonnes of rubber is being transported to other states from Kerala by road. This could be a major return cargo for coastal vessels that bring goods from other states to Kerala. It will be further beneficial for the cashew sector in Kollam as the expense incurred in transporting a container on the Kochi-Kollam sea route will be only 40 per cent of what it currently costs by road.
The minister said that the government is
also presenting a proposal at ‘Emerging Kerala’ to attract investment to
develop minor ports in the state. Minor ports need to be developed to make them
able to handle more volume of cargo.
“Though many of our ports have facilities such as breakwaters and godowns, no
significant investment was made to construct berths and linkages and for
dredging. Consequently, these ports have remained underdeveloped, unable to
support neither medium nor small-sized vessels,” he said.