In order to carry out maintenance dredging, major ports in the country would get Rs 649.11 crore (about $120 million) from the central government during the financial year 2013-14, Union Ministry of Shipping GK Vasan said.
In 2012-13, the government had allocated Rs 245.34 crore (about $45.4 million) for maintenance dredging.
Maintenance dredging is carried out in order to ensure that the existing draft does decline because of deposit of sand.
Navigational channels with less draft prevents bigger vessels from calling at some ports in the country. For example, the Nhava Sheva terminal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust suffers from less draft.
A $300-million dredging project at Nhava Sheva, which is scheduled for completion by September next year, will enable the port to accept vessels with drafts up to 14 metre (46 feet), compared with 12.5 metre (41 feet) at present.
Three major ports - Chennai, Ennore and Vishakapatnam - have navigational channels with more than 17-metre (about 56-foot) drafts and are capable of handling bigger ships, he said.
Also, the government has been providing subsidy to meet the cost of maintenance dredging in Kolkata Port, which is a riverine port with a very long navigational channel.