Union Minister Sonowal reviews progress of proposed ICTP

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, conducted a site visit to the proposed International Container Transhipment Port (ICTP) at Galathea Bay, Great Nicobar Island, reviewing its progress alongside senior officials. This pivotal project aligns with the Maritime India Vision 2030 and the Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, representing a transformative initiative with an estimated cost of ₹44,000 Crores.

The International Container Transhipment Port (ICTP) has achieved significant milestones, securing approvals from key government bodies. The Ministry of Environment and Forests & Climate Change granted environmental clearance on November 11, 2022. Stage 1 forest clearance has been obtained, and the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, has given “In-Principle” approval for the holistic development of the Great Nicobar Island. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the ICTP project is in the finalization stage, with plans to invite tenders for the first phase’s construction early next year.

The Mega Container Terminal’s development is integral to the holistic progress of Great Nicobar Island, focusing on strategic location, natural water depth, and transshipment cargo capacity. Sonowal, after an aerial survey, engaged with local residents and stakeholders, discussing the project’s implementation methodology and timelines.

Minister Sonowal emphasized, “This project will be a major landmark in developing India to become a self-assured and self-reliant Nation and will support the economic development of the country. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways is continuously striving to fulfill the grand vision of making a New India as envisaged by our visionary Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji.”

The flagship program Sagarmala under MoPSW aims to modernize and enhance the capacity of existing ports. Notably, 94 projects worth ₹31,129 Crores have been completed in the last nine years, resulting in a capacity addition of over 230 MTPA. Private sector engagement has seen 21 projects worth over ₹23,000 Crores operationalized under PPP since 2014.

India, with its significant potential, aims to set up Mega Ports and compete globally. Three Mega Ports, including Vadhavan-JNPT Cluster, Paradip Port, and Deendayal Port, have been identified for development. Additionally, two new major ports, Vadhavan and Galathea Bay port, are envisioned.

The proposed Galathea Bay Port, strategically located near the East-West world-shipping corridor, is poised to attract gateway and transshipped cargo. With the development of ICTP at Galathea Bay, India aims to reduce its dependency on foreign ports for transshipment cargo handling.

The proposed facility is planned to be developed in four phases, with Phase 1 expected to be commissioned in 2028, reaching a handling capacity of approximately 4 Million TEUs. The total estimated cost for Phase 1 is around INR 19,000+ crores.

Minister Sonowal also explored the tourism potential of Indira Point, directing officials to examine the possibility of developing it as a tourism destination. Additionally, he reviewed the progress of the Campbell Bay Port project, aimed at enhancing port capacity and facilitating passenger and cargo movement between Great Nicobar and other islands.