Mangalore, Apr 1 (UNI) The New Mangalore Port, one of the seven major ports in the country, has handled a record traffic of 34.45 million tonnes in 2005-06, up by 1.65 per cent, as against 33.89 million tonnes during the corresponding period the previous year.
The increased volume of traffic was due to the increased handling of pol crude and products, fertilisers, coal and containerised cargo. During the fiscal year 2005-06, the port had handled 1,080 vessels as against 1,057 vessels handled during the previous year, New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) Chairman P Tamilvannan.
Giving the performance details of the Port at a press conference at Panambur today, he said containerised cargo handling had gone up increased to 1,48,952 tonnes (9646 TEUs) during the year, registering a growth of 9.42 per cent, as against 1,36,127 tonnes (8943 TEUS) during the year. The port had handled 16.52 million tonnes of import traffic and 17.92 million tonnes of export traffic, including 12.20 million tonnes of pol crude and 1.19 million tonnes of LPG.
Mr Tamilvannan said that for the first time in the history of the Port, net surplus had crossed over Rs 100 crore. The Port had for the third consecutive year bagged ''Sanman Patrika'' for the outstanding contribution to service tax.
He said the port had also started handling new cargos like yellow peas, hydraulic excavator and rubber products.
He also informed that the first rake loaded with iron ore fines arrived through the Hassan-Mangalore line placed at Railway Marshalling Yard on January 17 last.
The average pre-berthing delay had reduced during the current year to 0.96 hours from 2.64 hours the previous year and the average turn-round time to 1.87 days from 1.94 days.
Mr Tamilvannan said the recently-constructed deep draft multipurpose general cargo berth had been put into operation from February 19 last. The port had also strengthened the existing Bangalore railway track at the Marshalling Yard of the port at the total cost of Rs five crore in view of the commissioning of the Hassan-Mangalore broad gauge line, expected to be completed by this month-end.
He said that in order to facilitate and encourage private participation in infrastructure development, it had been proposed to allot land on a long-term basis for setting up facilities for handling iron ore/coal behind deep draft multipurpose berth on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
He said the Port had also plans to develop ship repair facilities for ocean-going vessels and other floating craft on BOT basis. The feasibility report had already been prepared and in principle approval was awaited to take up the project, he added.
Mr Tamilvannan said the Port also wanted to construct a dedicated jetty for handling five million tonnes of imported LNG by ONGC/MRPL and construct tankage in Port land in an area of about 100 acres.
The total cost of the project would be Rs 2,600 crore, including the cost of the power plant proposed by the ONGC near here. This proposal was synchronised with Mangalore special economic zone (SEZ) project, he added.
A feasibility study had also been done for the creation of port-based SEZ and the government's approval sought to participate in the Special purpose vehicle (SPV) to be formed by ONGC-MRPL and the Karnataka Government for the formation of the Mangalore SEZ, he added.
He said the NMPT also proposed to create a cruise lounge at a cost of Rs 2.06 crore. The Union Shipping Ministry had been requested to urge the Tourism Ministry to share 25 per cent of the project cost. Tenders had already been received for the work, he added.
Mr Tamilvannan said the port also had plans to deepen the Harbour from the present 15.1 MTS to 17 MTS for which a geofeasibility study had been taken up. It also wanted to create bunkering facilities on BOT basis and an in-principal approval from the ministry was being awaited.
He informed that the Nagarjuna Power Corporation Limited had approached the Port for allotment of land and waterfront for its proposed 1015 MW coal-based based thermal power plant at Nandikur in Udupi district.