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India Seaports


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