India: Union Minister for Shipping Reviews Performance of Chennai Port and Other Projects

The Union Minister for Shipping, Thiru G.K. Vasan, reviewed the performance of Chennai Port at the Port premises in Chennai recently. He also conducted a joint review of the Port connectivity projects relating to Chennai and Ennore Ports viz. Chennai Ennore Port Road Connectivity Project and Elevated Port Link to Maduravoyal with the representatives of Chennai Port, Ennore Port, NHAI and Govt. of Tamilnadu, who are the stakeholders.

The Minister made a detailed review of the important operational parameters such as Pre-berthing detention time, Turn round time, Ship berth day output and Idle time at berth for various categories of cargoes and the performance of the Chennai Port vis-à-vis other Ports.

Shri Vasan also reviewed in depth the performance of the Port vis-à-vis the targets set for the various performance parameters in the MoUs signed by the Port with the Ministry of Shipping for 2010-11 and 2011-12. While appreciating the performance in case of parameters where targets were bettered, he also examined measures required to improve performance on parameters which have fallen below the targets.

The Minister thereafter reviewed in detail the major development projects proposed by the Port during the current financial year and the entire Plan period. These included Projects implemented through the Public Private Partnership route such as Mega Container Terminal at North of Bharathi Dock, Rajiv Gandhi Dry Port at Mappedu, Ro-Ro berth and Multilevel car park at Bharathi Dock and Barge Jetty. Other projects implemented through internal resources of the Port such as Capital dredging at Dr. Ambedkar Dock, Creation of Additional Open Storage area near the northern gate for vehicular parking, Toll Plaza type facility at the northern and southern gates and the Breakwater extension at the Fishing Harbour. The prestigious Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) being implemented for improving the navigational efficiency and security of the Port was also reviewed.

The strategy to improve the traffic and trade through Chennai Port in the context of the possible shifting of coal and iron ore to Ennore Port following the directions in the recent High Court judgement was discussed in detail and the potential for alternative cargoes was also assessed. Shri Vasan thoroughly reviewed the impact of the judgement on the future of Chennai Port and advised evolving of a suitable strategy for successfully countering the challenges faced by the Port from neighbouring Government and Private Ports.

Shri Vasan fixed specific deadlines for all the development projects and directed the Chennai & Ennore Port officials to adhere to the deadline. He also directed that humanitarian assistance should be given by Chennai Port to the crews of OSM Arena, the abandoned ship lying at outer anchorage.

Concluding the review, the Minister appreciated the efforts put in by the Port officers and workers in achieving positive growth in traffic vis-à-vis the previous years inspite of connectivity problems and reduction in volumes of iron ore and coal and expressed confidence that Chennai Port would successfully encounter challenges that it is facing.

Following the review of Chennai Port, Shri Vasan held a joint review of the Chennai Ennore Port Connectivity Project and Elevated Four Lane Link Road from the Port to Maduravoyal with the stakeholders viz Chennai Port, Ennore Port, NHAI and Govt. of Tamilnadu. He discussed in detail each component of the projects and issues such as Land acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Project Affected Families and suggested measures for timely completion of the projects which are essential for efficient evacuation of cargo both by Chennai and Ennore Ports without affecting the non-port and public traffic.

He also reviewed the strengthening and widening of TPP road which is important for connectivity of Ennore Port.

[mappress]

Source: pib, July 27, 2011

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