Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) Chairman Rajpal Singh Kahlon on Monday underlined the need to reorient strategies to face the challenges thrown by the private ports.

He was speaking at the 80 anniversary celebrations of Visakhapatnam Port after felicitating senior stevedores and shipping agents including Garuda Pattabhiramayya of A.V. Bhanojirow Garuda Pattabhiramayya & Co, B. Suryanarayana of Roy and Chatterjee and some of the retired officers of the port.

In a message to the port employees, he urged them to make concerted efforts to regain the lost glory of Visakhapatnam Port so as to make it No. 1 in the country. He disclosed that RITES had recently submitted techno economic feasibility report on developing a major port at Durgarajapatnam in Nellore district.

The major port in which VPT would have equity will involve an investment of Rs.9,600 crore. The Union Government has already approved the project. Mr. Kahlon said the State Government would have minimum equity of 11 per cent, which might go up to 26 per cent. The rest would be held by VPT and other public sector undertakings.

Predicting a bright future for Visakhapatnam Port, he said Rs.13,940 crore would be invested to achieve a capacity of 149 million tonne by 2019-20 as per the Maritime Agenda. He said with the investments contemplated, the existing capacity of 67 million tonne would be increased to 123 million tonne by 2016-17.

Port Deputy Chairman G.V.L. Satya Kumar, who presented a PowerPoint presentation on how the port made a modest beginning by handling 1.3 lakh tonne through three berths during first year of operation in 1933-34. Over the years it had emerged as one of the premier ports by handling 68 million tonne through 24 berths.

Chief Vigilance Officer S. Mujib Pasha, port trustee Krishna Kumar, V.V. Rama Rao, D.K. Sarma and others were present.

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