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Last Updated : Jul 21, 2019 01:47 PM IST | Source: PTI

Kolkata Port Trust aims 70 MT cargo handling in FY20

In 2018-19, the port handled about 63 million tonne of cargo in its two docks of Kolkata and Haldia, registering nine percent growth over the previous fiscal.

Representative image
Representative image

Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is aiming at 10 percent growth in cargo handling to 70 million tonne (MT) in the current fiscal, amid constraints faced by the riverine port in the eastern part of the country, its chairman Vinit Kumar said.

In 2018-19, the port handled about 63 million tonne of cargo in its two docks of Kolkata and Haldia, registering nine percent growth over the previous fiscal.

"We have set a target of 70 million tonne of cargo handling in 2019-20 (FY20)," the KoPT chairman said at an informal meeting.

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Transloading activities by the port has helped the KoPT to prevent diversion of cargo to other ports, situated in eastern coast.

"Transloading has stabilised and we are hopeful for handling 2.5 million tonne of cargo through this window (transloading) in FY'20, against 1.6 million tonne last fiscal," Kumar said adding that the port can handle up to 5 MT of cargo through the this arrangement.

Sand heads and Sagar are two major points from where the transloading activities take place in the KoPT.

Trans-loading is a technical term for transferring the cargo mid-sea into smaller vessels for due evacuation through ports. Siltation of the channels restrict the port to attract large vessel into its docks.

In order to reduce cost per tonne of cargo, importers usually prefer large size ships.

Kumar said the port has taken up projects that will yield results in the short term as the proposed deep sea port projects seem to be remained in a limbo as political rift between the state and Centre had widen.

Apart from transloading, KoPT has decided to restrict non-crude vessels to enter into the berths and instead, will allow unloading of the cargo through a floating pipeline.

"Non-crude vessels are smaller in size than bulk cargo ships but turnaround time is almost same for the both. Accommodating more high capacity vessels into berths will increase our total cargo handling," Kumar explained.

Meanwhile, KoPT has received legal clearances to hive-off a 22,000 tonne cargo ship belonging to a bankrupt Russian liner, lying idle at a berth for a year.

This is the first time KoPT is taking such a step against any liner, Kumar said.

"We have lost Rs 10 crore business for the Russian liner as they failed to take away their ship clearing our dues", he said.

Auction of the ship will give a message that the stern action will be taken by port authorities for actions not being adhered to law, he said.

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First Published on Jul 21, 2019 01:34 pm
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