Tamil Nadu tops the list of pending port projects due to environmental clearance, according to a study.
A report by Assocham states that investments worth over Rs 45,000-50,000 crore are awaiting environmental clearances in the port sector with majority of them in Tamil Nadu.
The data up to March, 2013 showed that a host of projects such as Kancheepuram, Udangudi, Vanagiri, Mannad and Chetinad remain pending due to lack of green clearances.
“At a time when there is a real dearth of bankable investment projects, keeping the projects in key infrastructure waiting does not speak well of the system involved”, a chamber spokesman said.
The study also highlighted that the average growth in cargo handled in Tamil Nadu ports had been quite low between 0.2 per cent and 3.2 per cent. With a coastline of 906 km, the State has three major ports at Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin and 15 non-major ports.
The shipping industry is grappling with the slowdown in demand and the overall weak growth in advanced economies which meant slower imports in developed regions. In 2012, imports grew at a modest 0.6 per cent, a sharp fall from the 5.0 per cent recorded in 2011, the report added.
The study said that India does not figure in world’s top 20 container ports while eight of them were in China with Shanghai being the number one.
Even as India’s global trade needs to become more competitive in terms of transaction costs, efficiency of Indian ports need to improve. The port efficiency had a major impact on transaction cost of shipping lines. Although major Ports had improved their efficiency over the last few years, the efficiency level of Indian ports was far from satisfactory when compared to several competing countries like China, the study added.