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Chennai Port sails on high tide

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Chennai, Apr 6 (UNI) The Chennai Port has handled an all time high of 47.25 million tonne of cargo during 2005-06, breaking last year's record of 43.80 million tonne.

Giving details of the annunal performance at a press conference here today, Port Trust Chairman K Suresh said but for unprecedented rains and cyclones last year, the port would have achieved its target of 50 million tonne.

Of the total throughput of 47.25 million tonne, exports accounted for 20.05 million tonne, registering an increase of 4.53 per cent and imports for 27.20 million tonne which was higher by 10.48 per cent.

The container traffic in the current fiscal had also reached an all time high of 11.76 million tonne, recording an increase of 19.18 per cent over the previous year.

The handling of passenger cars also witnessed an all time high performance. The port handled 1,02,692 Hyundai cars during 2005-06 against 83,121 cars last year which marked a growth of 20.29 per cent.

This impressive performance had led to Hyundai inking a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Port for building a multi-level car parking in the port, he said.

On the financial performance, Mr Suresh said the operating income for the year 2005-06 stood at Rs 430.16 crore and the provisional operating surplus was Rs 124.69 crore, an increase of 11.15 per cent over the previous year.

Cargo handling and storage accounted for a maximum of 52 per cent of revenue followed by Port and Dock charges (24 per cent) and Finance and Miscellaneous Income (16 per cent), he said.

Apart from various projects taken up under the tenth plan, the Port was also executing schemes like developing the second container terminal as part of the National Maritime Development Programmes. An estimate of Rs 491.76 crore was accorded in-principle approval by the Ministry of Shipping in March last to develop the second container terminal. Out of the 11 qualified applications, three submitted bids on November last. Technical bids were opened and clarifications were obtained from the bidders, Mr Suresh said.

After getting security clearance from the Centre for bidders, the financial offers would be opened. The licence agreement for the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme should be signed next month.

The port had also taken up Chennai-Ennore Port road connectivity, expected to be completed by mid-next year. It would substantially improve movement of road round cargo to and from Chennai Port.

A dedicated expressway to Maduravoyal upto National Highway 4 was also being implemented at a cost of Rs 750 crore to expedite cargo movement, he said.

The Port also proposed to establish a ship repair facility to cater to vessels upto 60,000 DWT at an estimated cost of Rs 150 crore. The project would be executed with private participation and the feasibility report had ben submitted to the Centre for in-principle approval, he added.

UNI 

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