10 years on, Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board comes into being

Amaravati, Nov 22 (PTI): Close to a decade after it was conceived, the Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board is now being put in place and would be operational from next month.

Industry and Infrastructure Principal Secretary Rajat Bhargava issued a notification on Friday stating that the AP Maritime Board Act, 2018, would come into force from December 16, 2019.

The Maritime Board is intended to ensure rapid development of the port sector and also the overall development of hinterland and offshore areas connected to the port-use. It will also promote industrialisation in the port areas in the state, Bhargava said.

The board would be headquartered in the port-city of Visakhapatnam, he said.

While the board Chairman would be appointed by the state government, state and Central officials of departments concerned, representatives of Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Central Board of Excise and Customs, Coastal Police and representatives of private ports and industry associations would be its members.

The board was first conceived in 2010 in the then united Andhra Pradesh but successive governments did not enact the enabling legislation all these years.

The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government completed the task in the previous session of the Legislature and the Act has now been notified.

The government hopes that the long coastline extending to 974 km along the Bay of Bengal from Srikakulam to SPS Nellore districts could make AP the gateway to Southeast Asian markets.

While the state has the major Visakhapatnam Port Trust in the public sector, two other major ports are being operated by private companies at Gangavaram and Krishnapatnam.

In all, the state has identified 14 non-major ports for development across the state to boost trade and commerce by sea.

The government hopes the Board would help in managing the development of all port and shipping related projects in the state, leading to fast-track growth of maritime sector.

State authorities have studied the functioning of maritime boards in countries like Singapore, Australia and states like Gujarat and Maharashtra to adopt certain best practices here. PTI DBV NVG NVG