(Continued from the previous
Sandesh: An owner of a container terminal was quoted recently as saying that
India needs more cargo and better connectivity to the port instead of building
new ports and terminals. Your comments.
S.Narasimhan: what he is
saying is true. He must have talked about containerization of cargo. Most of
the goods trS.Nported in India come under the bulk cargo category.
Containerization of bulk cargo and conversion of bulk cargo to containers will
bring down the trS.Nportation costs, bring down the wastage of goods and
improve their quality of goods trS.Nported.
than building a green field port, creating connectivity to hinterland from the
existing ports is very important. That is why, it is very important to build
more Inland Container Depots deep in the hinterland rather than container
freight stations near the ports.
Container Depot (For illustration only)
Shipping Ministry has rightly decided that there will no more fresh licenses
for container freight stations near Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Bengaluru, Mundra
and JNPT ports. It has also made it clear that it is open to giving more
licenses for inland container depots.
ICDs are themselves Customs stations, situated in the hinterland of ports and
therefore provides better facilities to the trade. More ICDs are coming up near
Bengaluru, Salem, Madurai and Coimbatore in Southern India
SS: Krishnapatnam Port has made a big success in
trS.Nshipment of cargo in the last few months. The Port was able to take away
Indian cargo which was otherwise moving through Singapore ports. Chennai port
intends to start trS.Nshipment business. How do you see this trend?
While Vizhinjam and Vallarpadam Ports situated near the international shipping
lane could emerge as trS.Nshipment hubs, Chennai and Krishnapatnam ports are
not meant to do trS.Nshipment business.
Not long ago Chennai port was the only facility for entire Southern India, Now
three ports in the vicinity are competing with Chennai from the same
hinterland. How does the competition from private ports impact the prospect of
Chennai Port.? Chennai port is already feeling the pinch with many main line
vessels skipping the port. There are some Chennai based shipping agents who
assert that the port might fold up. How do you see the future of Chennai
The neglect of road connectivity to Chennai Port by successive governments has
taken a heavy toll on its prospects. The issue was never addressed by them. Had
the infrastructure like the Ennore- Manali Road Improvement Program (EMRIP) a
six lane high way linking Chennai and Ennore ports with two lanes exclusively
for port bound containers, had been taken up ten years earlier, Chennai would
have been way ahead of ports in the West Coast.
shipping lines started skipping Chennai port once they found delivery of cargo
from the port took 48 to 72 hours. Last
ten years of neglect of Chennai Port has taken a heavy toll. The entire
south India is feeling the pinch of getting new industries in the absence of a
robust port like Chennai. If the port was working to normal capacity Tamil Nadu
would have been leading the table in industries in the country. Other southern
states would have also picked up. Primarily the road connectivity to the port
was neglected. This took a heavy toll on the Port.
SS: How is the situation in the Chennai Port
Things have improved a lot during the last two years. During the peak
congestion days it took nearly 48 to 72 hours to clear cargo from the Chennai Port. Now the time taken for
delivery or receipt of cargo has come down to eight hours. The Elevated
Corridor project to Maduravoyal is about to resume in a few months. Customers
are finding it easy to handle containers in Chennai port as the delivery time has
come down to eight hours.
File photo of the Chennai Port to Maduravoyal Elevated
Four-Lane Corridor Project
Port will soon emerge as Ultra Modern Container Port. The present Port Chairman
Raveendran, who belongs to the Railway Service is taking measures to improve
the Rail connectivity to the port.
implementation of Visakhapatnam Chennai Industrial Corridor, which is now at
the final stages of project structuring, will play a major role in development
of industries in the East coast Cargo feeding for the ports will not be a
problem any longer.
proposal to extend the Corridor from Chennai to Kanyakumari, however has not
made much progress so far.