Approximately 95% of India’s international trade by volume and 70% by value are seaborne. India has 11 major ports, 19 Medium port, and 187 minor ports along 7,517 km long Indian coastline. It is strategically located as a major maritime nation due to its long coastline that flanks important global shipping routes.
The National Transport Policy Committee (1980) recommended the following principles for declaration of a national waterway.
It should possess capability of navigation by mechanically propelled vessels of a reasonable size.
It should have about 45 m wide channel and minimum 1.5m depth.
It should be a continuous stretch of 50 kms.The only exception to be made to waterway length is for urban conglomerations and intra-port traffic.
It should pass through and serve the interest of more than one State (or).
It should connect a vast and prosperous hinterland and Major Ports (or).
It should pass through a strategic region where development of navigation is considered necessary to provide logistic support for national security (or).
It should connect places not served by any other modes of transport.
Important Ports In India