ECT: What are India’s interests and why?

ECT: What are India’s interests and why?

ECT: What are India’s interests and why?

Written by Staff Writer

15 Jan, 2021 | 9:27 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): The Colombo Port is considered to be an important strategic location in the Indian Ocean for transhipment purposes.

The Colombo Port currently consists of 5 main terminals.

The Jaya Container Terminal, Samagi Container Terminal, South Asia Gateway (SAGT) Terminal, Colombo International Container Termina (CICT)l, and the East Container Terminal.

The SAGT has already fallen into the hands of multinational companies, while a majority stake of the CICT is owned by China.

The Jaya Container Terminal is operating under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority but lacks adequate facilities to compete with the private sector.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority still owns the East Container Terminal, due to the movements launched by trade unions.

What is the importance of the East Container Terminal?

This terminal that has a depth of about 18m is a terminal where some of the largest ships in the world can dock.

Why is India interested in this terminal?

India already operates 13 major ports and 187 minor and intermediate ports, that adds up to a total of 200 ports.

The Deendayal Port in Gujarat, Paradip Port in Odisha, Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra, Visakhapatnam Port in Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai Port Maharashtra are some key ports among them.

India earned an income of 154 billion Indian Rupees through the 13 ports it operates during the 2019 fiscal year.

India is now eyeing the Colombo port against a backdrop where they are already earning massive profits through the ports that they operate.

Trade Unions point out that prices of trans-shipment facilities at the Colombo port are offered at a very competitive price.

The cost of travelling to the Colombo Port to dock is much cheaper than travelling to an Indian Port as Sri Lanka is situated closer to international maritime trade routes.

The Adhani Group which is preparing to invest in East Container Terminal is already investing heavily in the development of the Vizhinjam port in India.

Doesn’t handing over strategic assets around the island pose a threat to our nation?

If the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port should be handed over to India because the previous government handed over the Hambantota Port to China, does that also mean that Trincomalee, Kankasanthurai, or Galle ports should be given to other foreign nations?

Trade unions have taken a strong stance against this and their opposition transcends party lines. They will get an opportunity to discuss this matter with a Cabinet Committee tomorrow.

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