NITN | @notintownlive | 14 Nov 2017
The seminar highlighted that shipping plays a vital role in the maritime trade of the country and contributes considerably in the growth of the EXIM trade. In this regard, it is of utmost importance to have well developed ports.
The speakers emphasised that it is of great interest that India is today seeing huge investments in the Port sector, evident in the increase in the number of new ports on the west and east coasts of India.
The seminar, held at the Williamson Magor Hall of BCC&I, highlighted the infrastructure facilities of the major ports as well as that of private ports.
The objective of this conclave was to understand the present status of the infrastructure facilities of ports in India and to draw up an Action Plan on further requirements, highlight deficiencies and chart the way ahead for improvements, last mile road and rail connectivity for ensuring free flow of cargo in and out of ports. Such short, middle and long term planning will result to a level in line with international standards and capability to compete with foreign ports.
Indrajit Sen, President Designate, the Bengal Chamber, said, “Port and Port development are key to India’s EXIM activity. Make in India necessitates the development of ports to reach global markets. At the same time it is important for preparedness of ports to tackle marine exigencies, risks and accidents."
Leading ship operators participated to highlight their experiences in major and private ports.
The stakeholders in the seminar were the senior and mid level managers from the EXIM Trade, Shipping, Logistics, Supply Chain, students of Maritime Training Institutions and all others concerned with the Marine industry.
Vinit Kumar, IRSEE, Chairman, Kolkata Port Trust, said, “Ports have seen many ups and downs but have been growing and growing for the better. This year till now, till October, our traffic is growing at the rate of 12 per cent against an all India average of 4 per cent for the major ports. We have clocked around 32 million tons as against 28 million tons we did last year-both Haldia and Kolkata system put together. We are around 18 per cent more than last year and we hope to continue this trend till the end of the year. In all the things that we will be able to do make up more than 55 million tons for Kolkata this year for Calcutta system. Some of you might be already aware that we have opened a new channel that is dredging channel for Haldia that has reduced our dredging cost by almost , more than 100 crores per year. And we are getting better drafts and better navigability.”
“We have restructured our dredging contracts. We are tied up with Dredging Corporation of India, the earlier contracts used to be with the amount of materials dredged but now we have shifted to performance based contracts, it is not only that the dredging will be , cost will be raised on the amount of material dredged but also on the basis of the depth assured,” said Vinit Kumar.
Other speakers included Tathagata Roy, Governor of Tripura;S Balaji Arunkumar, IRTS, Deputy Chairman, Kolkata Port Trust, Ministry of Shipping, Government of India; Capt Farhat Imam, Chief Operating Officer Resolve Marine Group, Fort Lauderdale , Florida, USA; Tamal Roy, President –Business Development and Investments, J M Baxi Group.
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