Visakhapatnam Port, which is finding its cargo figures stagnated for the past several years has a tough task ahead to remove the dirty tag attached to it and offer competitive cargo handling charges by ensuring faster evacuation.
The port has embarked on an ambitious plan to increase its capacity from 85 to 125 million tonne in next two to three years with mechanisation works in progress with an investment of over Rs.3,000 crore mostly on PPP mode. Prolonged recession in economy has by and large affected all the ports except premier ports like Kandla and Paradip.
During 2015-16, Visakhapatnam Port could handle 57.5 million tonne, a few lakh less than last year’s cargo. Kandla and Paradip ports retained first and second ranks by respectively handling 100 million tonne and 76.38 million tonne.
Thermal coal went up by seven lakh tonne, iron ore fell down by three million tonne and crude oil increased to 10 million tonne from last year’s 8.6 million tonne. The commissioning of underground crude cavern has brought Very Large Crude Carriers to the city.
Port Connectivity Road
The port is in the process of widening Port Connectivity Road as a joint venture with the NHAI at a cost of Rs.100 crore and developing Elevated Freight Corridor from Ayyapaswamy temple to Gajuwaka and Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and Temple Junction to Anakapalle and Anandapuram via Duvvada to ensure hassle-free traffic for heavy vehicles carrying cargo to and from port. Integrated logistic park on the lines of Bhiwandi is also coming up near Tadi.
“We not only want to make it a green port but also improve efficiency parameters. Port users need not come to our office as we want to ensure seamless connectivity with the installation of latest Enterprise Resource Planning software,” Visakhapatnam Port Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu said.
On the advice of Ministry of Shipping, Boston Consulting Group was engaged for a study to identify bottlenecks that are delaying faster evacuation of cargo.
“Implementation of their suggestions has improved our efficiency to some extent and further we have to reduce detention time of ships,” Deputy Chairman P.L Haranadh said.
Mechanised environment in minor ports like Gangavaram and Kakinada has led to diversion of cargo to some extent.
The advantage with the minor ports is that they are out of the purview of any regulator whereas major ports are governed by the Tariff Authority for Major Port Act (TAMP).
We not only want to make it a green port but also improve efficiency parameters
M.T. Krishna Babu
Visakhapatnam Port Chairman
Source By: http://www.thehindu.com/