Kerala will try to lure private investment by offering
major projects to revamp its ports. The state, which has
590-km-long coastline, has just one major port in Kochi.
Now it wants to upgrade many among its 16 smaller harbours.
hopes to develop the ports in Thangaserry, Alappuzha,
Ponnani, Beypore and Azhikkal with private investment.
The expected total cost is estimated at Rs 50 billion.
international consultant company PricewaterhouseCoopers
has completed the feasibility study and we will showcase
these projects in the Global Investors Meet to be
held in Kochi in January 2003, says Kerala Ports
Minister M V Raghavan.
near Kovalam, on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram,
is another port the government wants to focus on. But
a feasibility study in the area is still on and officials
are not sure if Vizhinjam port could be put on the table
at the investors meet.
Past studies estimated
that it would take about Rs 25 billion to make Vizhinjam
port among the best in India. Experts say the advantage
of Vizhinjam is that ships could lay anchor there without
any dredging work required. Besides, the port lies just
10 nautical miles from the international shipping route.
from the major port in Kochi, Kerala has three intermediate
ports and 13 minor ports, none of which does much business.
The total tonnage handled by the 13 minor ports came to
just 100,000 last year, whereas Kochi handled 12.8 million