Visakhapatnam port, which is undergoing massive mechanisation, held a traders’ meet here on Tuesday so as to market the new facilities developed in the port for quick discharge of cargo.

Deputy Chairman of Visakhapatnam Port Trust G.V.L. Satya Kumar gave details on the status of their efforts to improve quality of cargo handling through a power-point presentation. He also elicited the views of exporters, importers, container freight station operators, stevedores and others. His presentation covered existing facilities, future developments at the port on both the shipping and the railway fronts.

The Deputy Chairman requested the East Coast Railway to expedite the electrification of yards within the port and augmentation of connectivity beyond port in order to cope with the increase in traffic at the port in view of ongoing mechanisation work.

Vizag Seaport Pvt. Ltd (VSPL), one of the BOT operators, informed the gathering that the new power generation units were coming up in Chhattisgarh requiring nearly 26 to 28 million tonne of imported steam coal. He said the railways and the trade would gain if the cargo from Chhattisgarh was brought to Visakhapatnam instead of allowing it to go to western ports.

A top official of Vizag General Cargo Berth Pvt. Ltd made a presentation on the fully mechanised coal handling facility and informed that the facility would soon be capable of handling Capsize vessels.

Chief Operating Manager of East Coast Railway G.D. Brahma said the railways joined the elite club of the world by becoming the fourth railway to have handled one billion tonne cargo. He said East Coast Railway completed 10 years of its existence by growing at a pace greater than the national GDP growth rate.

Support promised

He promised full support to Visakhapatnam port to regain No. 1 position among the major ports.

The users of the port railways unanimously represented to the East Coast Railway that the ‘route rationalisation policy’ was making the port operations uneconomical and unviable.

Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar, president of Visakhapatnam Stevedores Association K.V. Krishna Kumar and representatives from various agencies attended.