Accelerating the port infrastructure building process across ports in the country, all the 12 major ports trusts of the country have jointly decided to set up a new entity, which has been named as the Port Infrastructure Vikas Nigam Limited (PIVNL). The new company, which will solely focus on building world class infrastructure across ports, is being formed with equity stakes from all 12 major ports and Railway Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) with a 90:10 shareholding pattern with initial authorized capital worth Rs 100cr. The new company will construct, operate and maintain rail and road infrastructure to facilitate connectivity for transportation of goods from ports in India and abroad. The special purpose vehicle is to be formed within a month of Cabinet approval and that a draft note has already been sent to the Cabinet and the ministries of finance, railways, law & justice and the Planning Commission have also gone through the same.
In this connection, it may be recalled that RVNL, which is currently under the railways ministry, was formed to undertake and implement railway projects and has already completed 11 port connectivity projects with about half a dozen still lying pending. The new entity has the specific objective of increasing the efficacy of the rail evacuation systems at major ports with end-to-end connectivity to the hinterland and is going to be an important factor in the efficiency and growth of a port but still significant work remains to be done. In the preceding fiscal nearly 28% of the total cargo handled by major ports was transported by Indian Railways to and from the hinterland. A detailed study carried out by the World Bank opined that the optimal share of transporting goods through rail should be at least six percentage points higher. Apart from major ports, the non-major ports handle 60-90% of their cargo volumes through the rail network.