Kandla Port Trust (KPT) :

PORT OF KANDLA – HISTORIC BACKGROUND, PAST & FUTURE : The loss of port of Karachi to Pakistan on account of partition, made the Indian Govt. to decide, if, a deep sea port in the west coast was needed. An expert Committee ” The West Coast Major Port Development Committee” was constituted in 1948 consisting of 7 members under the lPORT OF KANDLAeadership of Shri Kasturbhai Lalbhai as the Chairman of this committee. One of the main terms & conditions of the committee being ” Whether a deep seaport on the stretch covering Kathiawar and Kutch for handling of large size vessels at all seasons of the year was required? And, if so, where it should be situated?

On the first reference, based on the factors of Vast Hinterland, Length of coastline of about 950 miles between Lakhpat and Bombay and to ensure that trade of India flows through its own Port; committee recommended the need to have a Port on the stretch of Kathiawar and Kutch.

There were other factors like congestion in Bombay due to loss of Karachi port & on account of tremendous convulsion caused by communal frenzy and mass migration of people bringing trade of Punjab & Delhi almost at stand still. And to cater the needs of hinterland, opening of more Ports was essential to ease the over-burdened rail transport of the country.

In the process, committee took into consideration certain other factors like Traffic Potential, needs of entire area, estimated traffic, rail connectivity, ability to meet growth in traffic etc.

Maharao of Kutch first constructed the Port of Kandla in the year 1931. The Indian Port’s Act was made applicable to the Port of Kandla from 1st April 1950. The Port of Kandla was declared as a Major Port by Govt. of India from 8th April 1955. The affairs of the Port were administered by Union of India itself as the subject of Major Port included in the “Union List” of the Indian Constitution. On the reorganization of the states in 1956, Kutch ceased to exist as apart “C” state and it became apart of the bilingual state of Bombay. This followed the bifurcation of state of Bombay in 1960 and the territory of Kutch fell in the newly formed state of Gujarat from 1st may 1960.

In the year 1963, the parliament enacted “Major Port Trust Act” and Kandla Port Trust Board was constituted under the provisions of said act on 29th February 1964.