Atiya HabeebKidwai and GloriaKuzur
ISID Working Paper 178, February 2015
The seaport and dry port systems in India are being restructured in response to the structural adjustment reforms adopted in 1991 which aimed at liberalisation/globalisation/privatisation of the country’s economy. The catalysts have been three national level infrastructure and regional development programmes linked to post‐reform growth strategies. These programmes are:i) construction of national highways to connect the four corners of the country; ii) make a garland of new seaports on the triangular peninsular coasts; and, iii) create corridors for industrial development and efficient freight movement. These programmes have created a non‐path dependent trajectory in India’s port sector wherein old ports are losing their significance and a new locational matrix of sea and dryports is being created linked to seaport oriented transport/freight corridors. We highlight in this paper the emerging significance of newer and non‐major ports and the consequent changes in the port system, both hierarchical and regional. The relevance of port focused development corridor projects, which are part of the privileged regional development strategy in India, is evaluated and the growing significance of dry ports in the logistic chain of freight movement and their linkages with local economies is assessed.