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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Gujarat faces Draft Ports Bill challenge

India has been making major development plans since of late as the Gujarat government recently announced plans to invite global bids to develop a non-major port at Nargol with an initial investment of Rs 3,800 crore. Less than 50km away at Vadhavan in Maharashtra, the central government is working on a plan to develop a major port for an estimated investment of Rs 65,000 crore.

Nargol is likely to encounter tough competition from Vadhavan in drawing traffic. Moreover, the plans to develop new ports and to boost port-led development activities could face challenges if theDraft Ports Bill 2021 of the Union ministry of ports, shipping and waterways is implemented in its present form. The draft bill aims to modify the current management model of non-major ports or ports that are run by state maritime regulators. The major ports are run by the central government.a state government official quoted that “The powers of state maritime boards are likely to get affected as the policy proposes setting up of Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) where any plan for developing a new port is to be cleared, This issue faced by Nargol and Vadhavan is common in many parts of the country today, And the draft bill, if it were to become a reality, will only create more jurisdictional issues. The bill asks the states to set up maritime boards for planning infrastructure and mandates them to act independently.”

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