INDIA PLANNED TO BUILD A NEW TRANSSHIPMENT TERMINAL IN ANDAMAN NICOBAR ISLANDS
In the august 2020, PM Modi unveiled plans for the development of a new transshipment terminal in Andaman Nicobar island to extend facilities of maritime trade in Bay of Bengal region and boost maritime infrastructure of India.
It is a part of a slew of projects that India is implementing in the archipelago to boost economic development in Andaman, the transshipment port project estimated to cost 100 billion rupees. It would also help India address some of the problems dogging its maritime trade. this port also developed as naval base so it will help to block china aggression in Bay of bengal and it maybe a energy threat to China. This port will very near to other countries like 22 nautical miles from Myanmar, 90 nautical miles from Indonesia, 270 nautical miles from Thailand.
Economic Importance of Andaman Port-
The shipping business in India has suffered on amount of India’s poor port Infrastructure.
Most Indian ports have shallow drafts, it means ships with higher tonnage- which is increasing the norm in international maritime trade today can’t dock at these ports so this port will help to dock higher tonnage in bay of trade trade route. Almost a quarter of India’s maritime trade is shipped through ports in other countries and over 80% of its transshipments cargo uses facilities at ports in Singapore, Colombo in Sri Lanka and Klang in Malaysia. After that India sends its small ships to these foreign ports so those small ships can easily dock at Indian ports.
Shippers must pay port handling charges at transshipment ports in these respective countries which add to their cost. The transshipment costs are leading to Indian port industry losses of Rs1500 cr annually. This translates into an “estimated loss of Rs 3000-4000 Cr to the economy” based on the economic multilayer effect of 2-3 times for ports on country’s economy.
Campbell bay (Nicobar village where port building) has a natural draft of 20 meters, which means that large Containers vessels, larges ships over 15000 TEU can dock there. all these losses can be saved if Campbell bay port becomes operational.
Strategic Importance of Andaman port-
-The great channel, where three major Indian Ocean shipping routes Converge and which leads into the strait of Malacca (a strategic waterways through which 90% percent of crude oil shipped to south china sea).
Military importance of Andaman Port-
- There is already a port Blair which has not been able to attract shipping traffic. will the great Nicobar succeed where port Blair failed?
- Transshipment ports at Vallarpadan and Vizhinjam have not able to draw business away from the Colombo port.
- Experts say that charges at Indian transshipment ports are far higher than Colombo and bureaucratic procedures are also a hurdle.
- India will need to Implement reforms of its cobotage law if it is serious about its dreams of emerging as a global or even regional transshipment hub.