New Delhi: Seven major ports of the country, including Paradip, Chennai, Cochin and New Mangalore, recorded a growth rate of 3.24 per cent during April-September 2017, an official statement said on Wednesday.

The ports recording a growth of 3.24 per cent together handled 326.4 MT cargo during the April-September 2017 period as against 316.1 MT handled during the corresponding period last year.

The other ports are Port of Kolkata, Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port, near Mumbai.

The highest growth was registered by Cochin Port (19.62 per cent) as compared to the corresponding period previous year, followed by Kolkata (including Haldia), New Mangalore and Paradip.

Cochin Port's growth was mainly due to increase in traffic of port of lading (POL) by around 28 per cent and Containers by over 10 per cent.

"In Kolkata Port, overall growth (over the same period year before) was positive -- 11.95 per cent. Kolkata Dock System (KDS) registered traffic growth of 0.72 per cent. Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) registered positive growth of 17.74 per cent," the statement said.

According to the government, during the period April to September 2017, Kandla Port handled the highest volume of traffic at 53.29 MT (16.33 per cent share), followed by Paradip at 47.61 MT (14.59 per cent share).

"Out of the total traffic volume, JNPT had 32.69 MT (10.02 per cent share), Mumbai 31.23 MT (9.57 per cent share) and Visakhapatnam 30.15 MT (9.24 per cent share). Together, these five ports handled around 60 per cent of the major port traffic," said the statement.

It said that commodity-wise percentage share of POL was the maximum 34.01 per cent, followed by container (20.22 per cent), and thermal and steam coal (12.66 per cent).

"Growing ports are becoming catalysts for shaping the Prime Minister's vision of a 'New India'," Union Minister for Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari said in the statement.

"The government is committed towards inclusive development to generate continuous growth and prosperity. Timely delivery of projects will help give the much-needed boost to the economy," he added.