Aiming to accelerate its economic development, Andhra Pradesh is seeking to build another big-size port in the state and has approached the Prime Minister's Office for the same.
The previous Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah had communicated the proposal for setting up a major port in the state to the PMO and had also suggested two locations.
"The proposal (for another major port at Andhra Pradesh) is with the PMO...state government has also recommended two locations...we do not know which ones," a senior Shipping Ministry official said.
Any port with two or more berths with facilities and equipment capable of handling 1,00,000 tonnes of cargo per month from ocean-going ships is categorised as a major port.
Andhra Pradesh already has a major port at Vishakhapatnam and is one of the busiest ports in India with a capacity of 63.2 million tonnes. It capacity is being ramped up to 86 million tonnes by 2012-13.
In fact the Shipping Ministry in its Maritime Agenda 2010-2020 unveiled in January this year had said that it would take up the development of two new major ports in the country, one each in east and west coasts.
The ministry would also draft port policy measures during the 10-year span of the Maritime Agenda, which includes corporatisation or providing greater autonomy to the major ports in the country.
India has 12 state-owned ports - Kolkata (with Haldia), Paradip, Visakhapatanam, Ennore, Chennai , Tuticorin, Cochin , New Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla.
The government targets to create a port capacity of 3,200 million tonnes for handling about 2,500 million tonnes of cargo by 2020. It also plans to improve the port performance on par with the best in the world.
About 95 per cent by volume and 70 per cent by value of India's trade is through the sea route.