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Kandla Port - The Gateway for the Rising Economic Prosperity of India

The port of Kandla is located in the district of Kutch in Gujarat. The port serves as the main transit route and an important economic zone for the western part of India. Several states of western and mostly north India are heavily dependent on the Kandla Port. Availability of hi-class facility makes it one of the most important gateways of western India. With modern upgradation, the facilities have been enhanced, making it an important center for maintaining good business transit route of India. The official inauguration of the port was conducted in early 1950s, under the Prime Ministership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

In the pre-independent era, the port of Karachi was considered as the most important gateway to India through the sea route. However, after independence, Karachi Port went to Pakistan, leaving the western part of India bereft of any important Port, other than that of Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay).

Brief history of the origin

The Kandla stream, on the western part of the country, was first appraised by the British, as a suitable area for construction of a port. However, the port came into being on 1931, after a detailed survey was made in 1992, during the pre-independent era. After gaining independence, the Government of India took the initiative to turn the Kandla Port into a special port for facilitating the way for trading through the Arabian Sea and providing the western part of the country, a major location for carrying out trade activities with the rest of the world through the sea route.

Another important factor that led to the building of the port at Kandla, in Gujarat, is that the only port of Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay) was unable to bear the tremendous load of the trading purpose of the whole western region of the country. Even the scope of further growth of the Mumbai Port was almost impossible. This led the need for an additional way to utilize the sea route. The Kandla Port became the most feasible option for the Government of India.

In the middle of the 19th century, the urge to increase business through the sea route made the Government of India to look for alternative routes for utilizing the Arabian Sea for maintaining trade relations with the western countries of the world. A naturally sheltered cove on the western India, bordering the shores of the Arabian Sea, Kandla Port offered a strategic maritime interface during the British era. During the period of undivided India under the British rule, the Kandla Port, along with the main port of Karachi, used to be treated as the most important sea defense or marine harbor of the western part of the sub-continent.

However, with the increase of pressure on the Port of Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay), the need to raise the Kandla Port as an important commercial passage got momentum. This led to the development of infrastructure of the port according to requirements. The marine contractors are highly responsible for taking utmost care in including hi-class facilities in the port. As a result, the Kandla Port turned into an important commercial outlet of India, providing commercial passage into the Arabian Sea. The importance of the port as a strategic naval base and marine harbor gradually diminished with the passage of time, and the port became an important commercial juncture for the western part of India. The establishment of the Kandla Port Trust during 1960s ensured smoother and uninterrupted marine traffic management in and around the port.

Key features of Kandla Port

The Port Trust of Kandla has enlisted certain crucial development strategies that incorporates the following services:

  • Undertaking actions to ensure qualitative and highly economized port system and facilities for the transiting vehicles over the port
  • Construction and management of a new and upgraded berthing
  • Inclusion of better equipments and quality services at par with international standards
  • Ensuring development of a hi-tech port system with better environment

There are key industries providing ship chandlers and other required marine life-saving equipments in the region of Kandla.

Key statistical data proving the worth of Kandla Port in the present day

The Port of Kandla in Gujarat has turned out to be successful in berthing ship of almost 1lakh tons in weight. The infrastructural facilities provided, along with the capacity for handling of draft by the port proves the port's worthiness in carrying out successful operations.

In addition to all these, Kandla Port of Gujarat has been able to manage a record of handling over 2,700 cargo ships during the fiscal year of 2011-12. The traffic-output of the vessels through this port also surpasses the 82 billion tons mark for the fiscal year of 2011-12. Thus, the importance of Kandla Port as an important commercial juncture of the country cannot be ignored anymore.

Tags: Kandla Port, Economic Zone, Kandla Stream, Marine Harbor, Cargo Ships