MUMBAI: With cargo rising, sixteen container scanners will be installed across Major Ports in the Country, of which ten are in the process of being procured and should be operational in the next six months.
Cargo traffic across Major Ports during the initial ten months of the year rose 7.14% to 535.35 million tonnes.
Five of the thirteen Major Ports in India – Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), New Mangalore, Kamarajar (Ennore), Vizag and Kolkata – will receive these devices in the first phase as they either have insufficient scanners or none at all.
The move will benefit Indian exporters who suffer losses when containers that are not scanned are shipped back. The sole reason for scanning the containers is security and countries like the US have made it a legislation to allow only those import containers that are scanned. In the past, these scanners have also helped in detecting illegal items being shipped.
"During our Annual General Meeting held, one of the discussions was on buying mobile and fixed container scanners for various Major Ports across the Country. There are ports that already have these scanners, but more of them are needed due to higher capacity being handled. Similarly, those ports not having it (scanners) are also being supplied with this equipment," said Sanjay Bhatia, IAS, Chairman of Indian Ports Association (IPA), the Apex Body of Major Ports under the Ministry of Shipping.
Seven national and international firms have participated in the ongoing bids and security clearance of these companies is awaited. Thereafter, their quotations will be opened and orders would be placed.
Of the ten scanners that will come under the first phase, seven are X-Ray mobile container scanners worth around Rs 15 crore each and the rest are drive-through road container scanners worth approximately Rs 30 crore each.
The ports handling major proportion of the container traffic will be supplied these scanners first.
JNPT, which has one X-Ray mobile container scanner, will receive three more scanning devices.
Under the second phase, six more scanners will be bought, five of which will be X-Ray mobile container scanners and one drive-through rail container scanner. The next phase is likely to take off during the second half of 2017.