Paradip, June 15
Even as Paradip Port is poised to be the number one port in the country in cargo handling in 2018-19 overtaking Kandla and Mundra, issues relating to transportation have become cause of concern for this port which has become a preferred destination for many exporters and importers. Slow evacuation of cargo is causing serious hindrance in achieving higher cargo throughput of the port, said sources familiar with the development.
Paradip Port Trust (PPT) as a Port defined under the Major Port Trust Act, 1963 provides infrastructural support and services to importers and exporters for movement and handling of EXIM Cargo. It is a key infrastructure for industries in Odisha and neighouring States. In the recent times, due to better efficiencies, importers and exporters have made Paradip Port their preferred Port which in turn has led to increased volumes of cargo being handled at the Port. This has led to Paradip Port crossing 100 Million Tonnes in 2017-18 thereby joining an exclusive club of Ports in India namely Kandla and Mundra, say experts adding that this has also led to increased employment not only in Paradip but also in adjoining areas.
In the year 2018-19, the Port is poised to handle close to 120 million tonnes thereby becoming the No.1 Port in the country. As per Port rules and regulations, the Port does not interfere with the users’ freedom of choosing their transporter in the evacuation of cargo from the Port.
Higher cargo volumes require higher evacuation from the Port either through rail or through road. Although there is close to 4 million tonnes of cargo lying at the Port, the daily evacuation is approximately 75,000 tonnes, out of which 65,000 tonnes is through rail and 10,000 tonnes through 500 trucks per day by road.
Coal cargo in many plots has caught fire due to delayed evacuation and is posing a safety hazard and a pollution issue.
Apparently seeing this unfavorable situation here, importers are diverting ships to nearby Ports in West Bengal and Visakhapatnam.
Importers are now trying to further increase road despatches to at least 15,000-20,000 Tonnes per day through utilization of empty trucks moving out of Paradip by back loading them. The Port is also closely following up with ECOR to increase railway rakes.