International Container Transhipment Port in Great Nicobar Island

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International Container Transhipment Port in Great Nicobar Island

Recently the Central Government has initiated the process of construction of International Container Transshipment Port (ICTT) at Great Nicobar Island (GNI).

The project is likely to be completed with an investment of Rs 41,000 crore, including investment from both the government and the Public Private Partner (PPP) concessionaire.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for construction of ICTT at Galathea Bay, as part of the overall development of GNI.

In the year 2021, the entire Galathea Bay was removed from the list of wildlife sanctuary for the construction of ICTT. It is the largest nesting site in India for giant leatherback turtles.

Kolkata-based Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port is the nodal agency for its implementation.

A transshipment port is a center for the movement of bulk cargo between individual ships. Instead of sending cargo to inland areas through rail, road or waterways from these ports, it is transported to other ports.

Transshipment Hub:

  • A transshipment hub is a place where cargo or containers are transshipped from one ship to another in order to travel to their final destination.
  • It is different from a port because the goods are unloaded from the ship at the port and brought to the interior of the country by rail, road, air. At the same time, cargo is loaded from one ship to another at the transshipment hub.

Great Nicobar: Significance and Concerns

  • Great Nicobar is the southernmost island of the Nicobar Islands Archipelago.
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of about 836 islands in the eastern Bay of Bengal, two groups separated by the Ten Degree Channel, 150 km wide. The Andaman Islands lie to the north of the channel and the Nicobar Islands to the south.
  • Indira Point, on the southern tip of Great Nicobar Island, is the southernmost point of India, less than 150 km from the northernmost island of the Indonesian archipelago.
  • Great Nicobar is home to two national parks (Galathea Bay National Park and Campbell Bay National Park), a biosphere reserve (Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve), and the Shompen and Nicobarese tribal people.
  • Crab-eating macaques, Nicobar tree shrews, dugongs, Nicobar megapodes, serpent eagles, saltwater crocodiles, sea turtles and reticulated pythons are endemic and/or endangered species to the island.
  • The Mongoloid Shompen tribe, numbering about 200, live in the forests of the Biosphere Reserve, especially along the banks of rivers and channels.
  • In January 2021, the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) de-notified the Galathea Bay Wildlife Sanctuary as the site for a port.
  • The beaches on either side of the Galathea River are one of the most important nesting sites in the northern Indian Ocean for the giant leatherback turtle, the world’s largest sea turtle.

Source – PIB

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