VISAKHAPATNAM: According to the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) authorities, modernisation of port will be completed by 2019. VPT Chairman MT Krishna Babu said, “The modernisation of VPT includes increasing container trade, doubling capacities of inner harbour, modernise berthing structures, setting up Multi-Modal parks, free trade zones, provision of clean cargo and improvement of rail and road connectivity inside the port.”
“Once the modernisation project is complete, the port’s handling capacity can be augmented to 135 MT (million tonne) from the existing 98 MT. The project is estimated to cost Rs 5,000 crore, but only 50% of the works are completed so far,” he added.
The port took up the project in order to face a challenging competition from the nearby private ports including Gangavaram and Kakinada Ports on freight volumes and cargo handling. The management felt that proposed investment for modernisation to help capacity augmentation to 135MT, adding more berths, improvement in evacuation infrastructure, boosting clean cargo terminals, development development of information technology for paperless, seamless, transparent transactions, sustainability through environmental sensitivity and generation of non-conventional energy through its 10MW solar power plant owned by the port at its own site close to Vizag Airport.
Nearly eight sub-projects of the modernisation were completed so far and the work of five more major sub-projects were still going on under various stages. “We have done some more works on railway line improvements and road improvements as well as part of the modernisation. The measures taken to improve ship change-over time and mechanisation of berths and installation of state-of-the-art equipments. All are slated to be completed by 2019,” Krishna Babu said.