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Cabinet may clear two port projects on Wednesday

New Delhi: In a major push to infrastructure sector, the Union cabinet will consider on Thursday a proposal to set up two big ports with an investment of Rs 16,000 crore, a step being taken after a few decades.

Along with the proposal for the ports, the Cabinet will also consider a proposal of the railway ministry for restarting two large modern locomotive factories in Madhepura and Marhowra in Bihar at an investment of about Rs 20,000 crore.

  Cabinet may clear two port projects on Wednesday

New ports in the offing.

The two ports-one each in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh-will add the capacity by 100 million metric tonnes, sources said.

The ports, to be operated in public-private-partnership mode, are intended to cater to the increased import of coal and oil besides boosting local economy and jobs.

At present there are 12 major ports in India -- Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Kolkata (with Haldia), Chennai, Cochin, Paradip, New Mangalore, Marmagao, Ennore, Tuticorin, Kandla and Visakhapatanam.

Cargo traffic at ports during the six-month period ending September 2012 grew by just 1.8 percent to 455.8 million tonnes due to decline in shipments handled at major ports.

Cargo traffic or the goods transported for commercial gain increased to 455.8 million tonnes during the period April-September, 2012 and from 448 million tonnes during April-September, 2011 period.

The proposal for locomotive factories was approved in 2006 but was held up because of various reasons, the sources said, adding all the issues have now been resolved.

The project, to be operated in PPP mode, will kick off in July with invitation for bids and award of contracts in September, they said.

These factories will produce high class electrical and diesel locomotives for the railways.

PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 18:18:12 IST