Traffic at Indian Ports Expected to Grow, Minister Says

Traffic at Indian Ports Expected to Grow, Minister Says

The Ministry of Shipping, in consultation with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has worked out an amicable settlement of the issue of providing employment or other forms of relief to the master list candidates who happen to be the children of medically invalidated and deceased employees of Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT).

The issue had remained unresolved for a long time. While a few of them were accommodated by the Port on contract basis as a humanitarian gesture, the Port was not able to find a satisfactory solution in respect of others. A compensation of Rs. 35,000 per year and a maximum of Rs.4.9 lakhs per candidate has been approved for this purpose. The proposal regarding determination of the cut-off date is also under active consideration in the Ministry. The cheques were presented by the Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan in the presence of the Union Minister of State for HRD, Shrimati Purandeswari, Member of Parliament Shri Subbarami Reddy, Secretary, Shipping, Shri P.K. Sinha and others in Visakhapatnam today.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Vasan said that the present level of traffic at Indian Ports is 885 million tonnes which is expected to grow at a rate of 11% to reach about 2500 million tonnes by 2019-20. Considering this rapid growth, it is necessary to increase the overall capacity of Indian ports to 3230 million tonnes by 2019-20, Shri Vasan added.

The Minister further stated that to achieve the desired capacity, the Ministry has envisaged huge investment of about Rs. 2.77 lakh crore. As Government alone cannot find resources to meet this massive investment, an investment of Rs. 2.34 lakh crore is planned to be attracted through the PPP mode. Thus, the private sector has to play vital role in development of infrastructure in the port sector in the coming years, Shri Vasan commented.

Regarding various policies pertaining to the Ministry of Shipping, Shri Vasan said it has unveiled the Captive Policy for port sector which allows industries to set up cargo handling facilities for their own captive use at major ports. In order to ensure a policy driven development, the Government is in the process of finalising the Land Policy, Coastal Shipping Policy and policy frameworks in other areas of maritime activity.

Earlier, Shri Vasan attended the Bhoomi Puja ceremony for the development of EQ-1 berth with mechanized handling facilities at an estimated cost of Rs. 323.18 crores. This facility will enhance the productivity levels of handling steam coal at an output rate of 27,000 tonnes per day with a capacity of 6.40 million tonnes per annum. This project with mechanized facility is mainly taken up keeping in view the environmental issues in handling steam coal. The mechanization programmes taken up by the Port of Visakhapatnam will provide much needed relief to the people of Vizag from dust pollution arising out of coal handling.

On this occasion, Shri Vasan congratulated the Port of Visakhapatnam and Mundra Port & SEZ Limited for coming together to develop the EQ-1 berth on DBFOT basis.

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Dredging Today Staff, March 9, 2012

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