The New Mangalore Port handled 35.52 million tonnes of cargo during 2009-10 as against 36.69 million tonnes during the previous year. This marks a reduction of 3.17 per cent.
New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) chairman P. Tamilvanan told presspersons here on Wednesday that the shortfall of 1.16 million tonnes was mainly owing to decline in handling of iron ore fines to the extent of 3.15 million tonnes as compared the previous year.
The port handled 5.45 million tonnes of iron ore during 2009-10 as against 8.6 million tonnes in the previous year.
Mr. Tamilvanan said that restrictions imposed on transportation of iron ore fines on national highways leading to Mangalore had contributed to this shortfall.
The trust could make up the loss to some extent by handling more quantity of coal, containers and limestone, among other goods, he said.
The NMPT chairman said the decline in iron ore fines handling had also led to reduction in exports from the port by 16.55 per cent.
Exports from the port during 2009-10 came down to 13.96 million tonnes from the previous year's 16.73 million tonnes.
The port registered 58.68 per cent increase in timber handling which stood at 1.85 lakh tonnes during 2009-10 as against 1.16 lakh tonnes in the previous year.
Limestone handling registered a 46.87 per cent increase and stood at 11.27 lakh tonnes during 2009-10 as against 7.67 lakh tonnes in the previous year. During 2009-10, the port handled 1.6 lakh tonnes of maize as against 1.1 lakh tonnes during the previous year, and 27.90 lakh tonnes of coal as against 19.29 lakh tonnes during the previous year.
Barring iron ore and petroleum, oil and lubricants, the port registered increase in all the other goods handled, including LPG, edible oil and cement, and railway and container traffic. The port, Mr. Tamilvanan said, had earned revenue of over Rs. 300 crore for the third consecutive year and its net surplus stood over Rs. 100 crore for the fifth consecutive year.
Mr. Tamilvanan said the port had started receiving containers from the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Hassan. The port received 40 containers during the last month and the number was set to increase in the days to come, he added.
Mr. Tamilvanan said that besides cashew and wax, commodities such as coffee were also being handled from the port.
Mr. Tamilvanan said that the mechanised iron ore handling facility, which was expected to reduce pollution around the port, would be operational in two years. He, however, did not agree that families dependent on manual handling of iron ore would be affected by mechanisation.