The prospects of securing clearance for the
reconstruction of the sixty year-old Oil
berths in Visakhapatnam port from the pollution angle appeared bright as both
the stakeholders and members of public gave a positive response at the
statutory hearing conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board last
In his opening remarks at the public hearing, the
Port Chairman Mr. MT. Krishnababu said the two existing on berths in the Port
OR 1 and OR 2 were constructed way back in 1957 and they have outlived their
life and utility (Life being fixed at fifty years) and therefore need to be
demolished. Two fresh berths need to be constructed with a capacity to handle
9.81 million tons of crude per year. The estimated cost of the project is
around Rs 193 Crores.
He said the two berths in the inner harbor were
at present handling naphtha, Petrol, SRO, high speed diesel, LSHS and other POL
(petroleum, oil and lubricants ) products. The state owned Hindustan Petroleum
Corporation has a mega refinery at Visakhapatnam.
A representative of the Ultra-Tech Consulting
Agency, which prepared the environment assessment impact report, said there
would not be any significant pollution in the demolition and reconstruction of
the berths and all precautions would be taken to mitigate whatever little
pollution the process may cause. The Port was ready with oil spill contingency
plans also in the operation of the new berths. The project would have no
adverse impact on the fishing activity at the port, he added.
Mr.K.V Krishna Kumar, the president of the
Visakhapatnam Stevedores' Association, Mr. G. Sambasiva Rao, Managing Director
of Sravan Shipping, Mr. R. Kishore, the CEO of Visakhapatnam Seaports Limited
and other stakeholders spoke about the need for construction of new oil berths.