With dredging incomplete, new coal berth at NMPT idling: KCCI

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on August 19, 2019 Published on August 19, 2019

A new berth for mechanised handling for coal at the New Mangalore Port has been lying idle for over two months since its inauguration as it was commissioned before completion of capital dredging and providing adequate draft, according to the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In a memorandum to the Union Minister of State for Shipping (independent charge), Mansukh L Mandaviya, during his visit to Mangaluru recently, PB Abdul Hameed, president of KCCI, said the newly constructed berth 16 for mechanised handling of coal was inaugurated in May. Quoting the operators of the berth, he said the 325-metre-long berth has the capacity to handle vessels up to 1 lakh DWT with maximum permissible depth of 15.1 metres. However, Hameed said the berth has been commissioned with a declared draft of 11.90 m and LOA (length overall) of 190 m.

“The public at large is unable to understand the reason why the berth was commissioned without completion of capital dredging and providing assured draft as per the tender document. It is a shame the new facility is lying idle after handling couple of inaugural shipments. It is reliably learnt that the port authority is now contemplating to allot berth 14 for lighterage operations, and subsequently shift the vessel to berth 16 for handling balance cargo,” he said.


On infrastructure, he said the administration report 2017-18 of NMPT claims the maximum permissible draft available at the port is 14 m. But this draft is available only during three to four months in a year. The reduction in draft will lead to the loss of a good chunk of traffic at NMPT. This could be decisive in achieving the target set by the Shipping Ministry for the current year, he said. Stating that NMPT allocates huge funds every year for maintenance dredging, he said if the vendor does not commence dredging as per schedule, it can be termed as a futile exercise as the trade is not benefited due to erratic dredging schedule. Not providing a navigable waterway is a national loss to the exim trade, he said.

On road connectivity between the port and the hinterland, he said frequent closure of roads is a major concern. Container trucks with export cargoes are unable to reach the port in time leading to delays. He said that many of such containers have missed the scheduled sailing of feeder vessels thereby causing huge financial burden to the trade.

Hameed requested the Minister to bring this matter to the attention of Union Minister for Surface Transport.

Published on August 19, 2019
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