Tuticorin Port charts record traffic growth in 2007-08

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New Delhi, June 25 (UNI) Union Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister T R Baalu today reviewed the performance of Tuticorin Port Trust (TPT) which has had a record traffic of 21.48 M.T. in 2007-08 with cargo growth rate of 19.33 per cent.

The meeting observed that Tuticorin Port had performed satisfactorily in terms of indicators such as average pre-berthing detention, average turnaround time, average ship birthday output including financial performance with the profit before tax of Rs 115.67 crore.

For capacity augmentation, the port has taken up various infrastructural development projects under the National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP). Two projects, that is conversion of the 8th berth as container berth and North Cargo berth II as multi cargo berth would be developed under Public Private Partnership within 2009-10.

Out of 24 NMDP projects, four were completed in 2007-08 and six were nearing completion. While three were under tendering process, the remaining eleven were in the pipeline including DPR preparation.

In the first phase of NMDP, a sum of Rs 1,050 crore will be utilised for infrastructural development with the focus on dredging the dock basin and channel to cater 12.8 Mts. draft vessels. In the next phase, a mega project, that is Outer Harbour Development, would be taken up at the cost of Rs 4,350 crore for developing nine multipurpose berths with the draft of 14.5 Mtrs. This project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 11th Plan. The Government had recently approved the Capital Dredging of Inner Harbour at a cost of Rs 538 crore. The Minister asked the port authorities to ensure the close monitoring and supervision of this project for timely completion.

For future projects such as port based SEZ, dedicated freight corridor between Tuticorin and Nagpur and the Port Estate Expansion by acquiring adjoining port areas, Mr Baalu asked the Ministry officials to provide necessary support after TPT takes up the matter with the agencies concerned for earlier implementation. He said all measures should be taken for strengthening the technical set-up of Port in view of the major development projects in NMDP and also for strengthening the Human Resources.

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