VPT to develop satellite facility on its own at Bheemunipatnam
The Visakhapatnam port will turn into a landlord port in a few years once the process for investment in new berths and strengthening of existing berths by Build, Own, and Transfer (BOT) operators is completed.
Sources told The Hindu that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode of investment is being sought in tune with the Government of India's policy to corporatise all major ports in phases.
Once all the berths under the PPP route become operational, it will be the job of the Visakhapatnam port management to collect royalty as agreed upon at the time of signing the concession agreement with the BOT operators.
VPT Chairman Ajeya Kallam recently said that investment on nine PPP projects, some have been awarded and the rest are in various stages of finalisation, was Rs.2,124 crore. This apart, Rs.800 crore would be invested in infrastructure such as dredging at inner/outer harbour and logistical support, he said.
The Maritime Agenda evolved by the Ministry of Shipping envisages an investment of Rs.14,000 crore in the next 10 years – of which Rs.8,000 crore will be through the PPP mode. As part of a plan to decongest traffic at the main port, the VPT is pursuing vigorously the proposal to develop a satellite port on its own land at Bheemunipatnam. Detailed feasibility report is also being prepared by the Indian Maritime University to go ahead with the work under the PPP route after getting clearances from the Centre.
The port is trying to convince all to shift the fishing harbour and use the area thus vacated for expanding berthing and stacking areas. As part of the proposal, people in Kothaveedhi will be relocated after convincing them to accept due compensation.
The port is expecting consent from the Ministry of Shipping for dredging in Outer Harbour by taking loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Sources said that due to stringent conditions laid down by Japan, the authorities might consider other options. Presently, evaluation for dredging to have a draft of 21 metres in the Outer Harbour will be done by RITES, MECON, and Engineers India Ltd.
Dredging in Outer Harbour is expected to be easy than the Inner Harbour, where there are lot of rocks. Hence, the Dredging Corporation of India has been awarded work to undertake rock dredging to handle vessels with 2,00,000 DWT capacity.