A record quantity of coal – 40,701 tonnes – was handled at the New Mangalore Airport on Thursday. This is the highest quantity of coal handled on a single day. The previous record was 30,271 tonnes handled on January 16 this year.

A New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) release, issued by its traffic manager S. Gopalakrishna, said m.v. Ribbon, a gearless vessel carrying 69,891 tonnes of coal arrived here on November 2. The vessel arrived with 13.5 m draft berthed at the deep draft general cargo berth (no.14) and discharged the consignment within a record time of using three harbour mobile cranes. Udupi Power Corporation Ltd. (UPCL) imported the cargo from Indonesia for its thermal plant at Padubidri.

The coal traffic at NMPT has steadily grown over the past six years, NMPT said. From 3.15 lakh tonnes of coal was handled in 2004-05 and it went up to 27.90 lakh tonnes in 2009-10. The coal traffic is showing upward trend this financial year 2010-11 (up to October) with the port handling 16.04 lakh tonnes as against 12.15 lakh tonnes handled during the corresponding period the previous year with a growth rate of 32.01 per cent.

Container traffic

The press release said another significant achievement has been made in container traffic with the port handling 349 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in a shift of two gangs on September 26 and 180 TEUs in a shift of one gang on October 17 in vessels m.v. Tiger Power and m.v. Tiger Daji respectively.

The port has handled 24,379 TEUs in 2010-11 (up to October 2010) as against 18,442 TEUs handled during the corresponding period the previous year with a growth rate of 32.19 per cent.

The release quoted NMPT chairman P. Tamilvanan as attributing the growth in coal traffic to the infrastructure created at the port like deep draft berth, deployment of three harbour mobile cranes, construction of new railway lines inside and outside the port, concretisation of all roads inside the wharf area coupled with the efficiency in management and skilled port labour. He said the extension of railway line inside the port had contributed a lot to the faster evacuation of bulk cargo such as coal and limestone.

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