New Delhi, Nov 9 : Massive work is under way to transform India’s port sector with ongoing projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore while steps are on to use information technology to enhance efficiency, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today. The minister said concerted efforts in this direction has resulted in better performance by major ports in comparison to private ones. “We are implementing projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore in the port sector alone. Efforts by the government have resulted in improved efficiency of ports over the last two years and the performance of government ports in the country has been better than private ports this year,” Gadkari, who holds shipping, road transport and highways portfolios, said while addressing the media here.

Releasing the IT task force report ‘Next Generation Port Infrastructure-Technology Transformation for Integrated Port Operations’, the minister said the Port Rail Connectivity Corporation is implementing a number of projects, including Rs 6,000-crore Talcher Paradip railway line. Six new ports are also being set up. “The ministry has taken various steps to improve efficiency of ports. Old rules have been weeded out, port mechanisation and modernisation is being done on a war footing and projects for improving connectivity of ports are being implemented in the right earnest,” he said.

Stressing on the importance of e-governance for ensuring good governance, the minister said the IT taskforce report defines long-term strategic road map and implementation plans. Gadkari called upon port authorities to catch up with new trends in port strategies around the world. To compete with the global trading systems, “our port authorities need to take on more and more active roles in the governance of logistics systems and also adopt managerial and entrepreneurial behaviours”.

He is hopeful that the recommendations of the task force will pave the way for modernising port systems for better efficiency, speed and delivery. The report noted that there are many developed countries in today’s world whose applications of ITS technologies for solving transportation problems have reached a fairly advanced level. In India the development of such ITS solutions is at a fairly nascent stage, it said, adding that the development and implementation of IT technologies are happening in an ad-hoc manner at the moment, resulting in different standards and stages of implementation. The task force has also focussed on ITS technologies that are developed and implemented by the ports in Singapore and Rotterdam — two of the leading ports that have used technology as an enabler for port operations.