Mumbai: The government is all set to develop a dry-dock on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands at a cost of up to Rs 1,800 crore to help reduce the repair and maintenance costs for local vessels.
“We do not have good facilities for ship repair on the East Coast, unlike on the West Coast, as a result ships have to sail as far as to Malaysia or Singapore for such work,” a senior ministry official told a news agency.
The official said government will develop the facility either through the Cochin Shipyard or form a new entity, which can involve an investment of Rs 1,600-1,800 crore.
The immediate clientele which is being targeted is a fleet of 80 ships and boats under the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration and other ships plying on the Eastern Coast.
At present, the cost of undertaking the repairs in Southeast Asian countries is very high and the ship owners have to pay for the journeys to and fro, which results in a loss of forex, the official said, calling this as a project of “strategic” importance.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari had first spoken about the project at an industry meet over the weekend, saying it would massively reduce cost to a tenth.
The official said it will take around two years to complete the facility, adding they are working on a detailed project report now.