Goods coming from far Eastern countries and
bound for south Indian cities like Hyderabad are handled at JNPT in preference
to East coast ports because of the superior railway infrastructure. The Toor
dhal imported from Myanmar and meant to be dispatched to Nagpur based mills for
polishing prefer west coast ports because of better railway infrastructure in
the area. How do you overcome these obstacles so that the capacity in East
coast ports could be fully utilized?
: There is no problem in rail infrastructure for movement of goods from Chennai
Port to Nagpur. If the shipper transporting toor dhal from Myanmar to Nagpur
had preferred to have the goods handled at JNPT it may be due to availability
of shipping lines or other logistics issues. We will however have the issue
East Coast will soon have a third railway line from Chennai to Kolkata
dedicated for freight traffic. The proposal is at an advanced stage. In fact
work has already commenced in some sectors near Odisha.
Should the Industrial Corridors planned between Visakhapatnam and Chennai and
Chennai and Bengaluru should have Dedicated Railway Corridors as well so that
connectivity to East Coast ports could improve?
The NPP under Sagar Mala envisages three coastal economic zones in Visakhapatnam
Chennai Industrial corridor two in Andhra Pradesh and one in Tamil Nadu. The
potential industries include Petro Chemicals, Electronics, Steel, Ship
Building, Cement, Apparel and Food Processing.
proposed Chennai-Visakhapatnam corridor and Chennai-Bengaluru Corridor have
easy access to the existing rail network. The capacities of these rail networks
will be sufficient to meet the requirements of the trade in the near future.
Since road transport is economical
compared to rail up to one thousand kilometers from the relevant ports in the
East coast, road is preferred to rail.
Chennai port being situated in the heart of the metropolitan city is definitely
at a disadvantage over the new private ports which have come up in the
vicinity. Private ports have congestion free access as well as abundant land
bank near the port premises. How do you address the problem of movement of
goods through congested city roads and inadequate land within the port premises
for further expansion?
Port with a dedicated road (For illustration
Dedicated roads to the Ports are the ultimate solution. Increasing the Modal
shift from Road to Rail is another solution which can be easily implemented
without additional cost because of the excellent rail connectivity available
with Chennai Port. The proposed Elevated Road Corridor project will ensure
additional connectivity to Chennai Port.
ease the congestion inside the Port, the administration has already taken
several initiatives to widen the internal roads.
When will the work on the Elevated Corridor between the Chennai Port and
Maduravoyal start? The port has to wait
for another three years for the impact of the corridor to be felt on the swift
movement of goods. What are the short term measures the administration has on
mid to relieve the congestion in the port further?
:The DPR for the revised alignment and proposal for Elevated road to
Maduravoyal is expected to be submitted to National Highways Authority of India
by the end of next month.
on the revenue model and the mode of implementation recommended in the DPR,
action will be taken by the NHAI in conjunction with Chennai Port Trust and
Tamil Nadu Government to recommence the project..
the commissioning of the Elevated road in about three years from commencement,
Chennai port has planned to utilize the improved evacuation through EMRIP
(Ennore-Manali Road Improvement Program) a six lane road linking Chennai port
with Ennore along the Chennai’s northern coast. In addition, the port is in
consultation with the state government plans to increase the flow of traffic
through Gate number Ten from the present night time (11 Pm to 5 am) to at least
a portion of the day if not 24X7.
is also proposed to increase the rail share of the cargo by Commissioning the
new full Rake length common railway yard at the Southern end of the port. It is
also proposed to utilize the services of CONCOR for this purpose.
The Port has plans to expand the gates to CONCOR Yard at Tondiarpet for
handling Direct Port Delivery of imports. Has the shuttle service started
operating from the Chennai port to the CONCOR Yard? What has been response of the trade to this
procedure for operationalizing CONCOR Yard at Tondiarpet, as an extended
facility of Chennai Port is being examined by the Customs Department. Once the
procedure is approved, CONCOR will start scheduled services between Chennai
Port and Tondiarpet Yard regularly. Since this service will ensure assured
connectivity to Chennai port, the trade is positive about the viability.
SS: The status of the Project for using Puducherry post as a Satellite
Port of Chennai for handling containers and the facility at Jolarpet railway
station for aggregation of containers from Bengaluru, Coimbatore and Andhra
Pradesh. When will the DPR for the project be completed?
Mr.PR: Trial shipping services between Chennai and Puducherry port-Karaikal
segment has started on February 23 rd. The vessel, on its second voyage sailed
from Chennai port with 23 empty containers on March 8th and went to
Karaikal port to pick up some export cargo.
The regular services to Puducherry port will be resumed after
completion of some pending dredging work at Puducherry Port. The consultancy
work for the Detailed Project Report to develop a Multi Modal Logistics Park at
Jolarpet was awareded to Ernest and Young. The work is likely to be completed
in June this year.
SS: Some Mainline shipping lines have deserted Chennai port and moved to
nearby ports like Katupalli in recent
months because of issues of evacuation. Can you outline the steps taken by the
Port administration to bring them back to Chennai Port ?
Mr.PR: No Mainline services have skipped Chennai port. What these lines
have done is to make an additional halt in the nearby port to pick up
SS: When will work on coastal berth in Chennai port be completed? Will the
administration rope the services of coastal shipping lines to make Chennai as a
base for their operations? Immigration and customs seems to be a major
hindrance for operation of coastal services. How do you plan to overcome these
Mr.PR: The exclusive Coastal Berth
at Chennai port is expected to be completed in June this year. Once the
facility is ready, any shipping Company will be welcome to handle their coastal
vessels from here. As far as issues concerning immigration is concerned,
Chennai port will discuss with Immigration authorities to sort out the genuine
issues faced by the trade,
SS: Has the Port got any plans for expansion of services like bunkering in
the Outer Anchorage? Cochin Port has made a start in this activity. Will
Chennai port follow suit considering ports like Singapore earn a fortune from
Mr.PR: The procedure for availing bunker at the anchorage is cumbersome.
The issue was taken up with the customs department to have a single procedure
and the customs have announced a new procedure to that effect. The customs
permission for Outer Anchorage (OPL) bunker supply to vessels hasexpanded the
scope to cover vessels passing along the Chennai coast and also calling at
Kamarajar port Ennore, Katupalli and Krishnapatnam ports.
The GST has also been reduced on bunkers to five per cent from
eighteen per cent. With the above measure, it is expected that the bunker
volumes from Chennai Port will increase steadily. Further IOCL being the
Principal Supplier at Chennai port and also Singapore ports, there is
tremendous scope for growth.
SS: Has the port taken a decision to take a plunge into transshipment
Mr.PR: The prospects of transhipment business from Chennai port has been
studied in depth. The port has finalized plans to attract transshipment
business in a big way. Certain issues connected with transshipment need to
besorted out with the Customs. We hope early resolution of these issues so that
the new venture could be launched.
Both the container terminals operating at Chennai port have the state
of the art facility which could give a boost to the transshipment traffic from
SS: Future of Chennai Port, in the light of intense competition from the
ports in the neighborhood.
Mr.PR: Chennai Port has a very
bright future even with competition from neighboring Ports. The main (and
probably only) issue Chennai Port is facing is connectivity. Once the Elevated
Corridor Project is completed, may be in 2 to three years’ time, this will be
addressed. In fact, Chennai Port, with lowest cost of
handling among the Ports of this region, will be able to serve the trade in a