SEA PORTS OF INDIA
India has got 14,500 km of navigable waterways, which comprise
of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc. Presently, about
37,00 km of major rivers is navigable by mechanized crafts but
actually only 2000 km is being used. 160 tonnes of cargo is
transported through Inland Water Transport.
There are 12 major ports in
the country apart from 139 minor working ports along the coastline
of about 5,600 km. Major ports are the direct responsibility
of the Central Government while the minor/intermediate are
under the management of the state governments.
Kandla, Mumbai, Mormugao, New
Manglore, Cochin and Jawaharlal Nehru Port are the major ports
of the west coast. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port is equipped with
modern facilities having mechanized container berths for handling
dry bulk cargo and service berth, etc.
On the east coast, Tuticorin, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and
Calcutta-Haldia are the major ports. Among the major ports, Kandla
Port trust handle maximum traffic, with 40.6 MT during 1998-99,
out of a total of 251 for all major ports. Mumbai handles a basic
of 12% of the total traffic of the ports, bulk of which consists
of petroleum products and dry cargo. Cochin is a natural harbour.
Tuticorin port handles mainly coal traffic.
Chennai is one of the oldest ports
on the east coast. The traffic handled at this port consists of
crude oils and iron ore. Visakhapatnam is the deepest port where
an outer harbour has been developed for exporting iron ore and a
berth has been constructed for crude oil and also petroleum products
as well as multipurpose general cargo berth. Paradip handles iron
ore and some quantities of coal an dry cargo. Calcutta is a rivervine
port handling diversified commodities. A new mechanized