KCCI briefs Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Issues and concerns relating to NMPT

Kanara Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) briefs Mansukh L Mandaviya Hon’ble Minister of State for Shipping, Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India (Independent Charge), New Delhi on Issues and concerns relating to New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT)

Mangaluru: The Kanara Chamber of Industry and Commerce (KCCI) has alleged that the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) does not maintain maximum permissible draft of 14 m throughout the year despite spending huge amount every year on dredging. KCCI told visiting Shipping Minister Mansukh L. Mandaviya here recently that it is a futile exercise as the contractor does not commence dredging as per schedule every year.

In his statement P B Abdul Hameed, the President of KCCI had said, ” Established in the year 1940, KCCI is now in the 79th year of fruitful service to more than 1300 esteemed Members of the Trade & Industry around Coastal Karnataka. It would be appropriate to mention that KCCI was instrumental in mitigating various issues concerning New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT). Currently, the trade has been facing some difficulties while transacting business with NMPT, which we bring to your kind attention for necessary redressal:

Minister Mansukh L. Mandaviya

“Regarding the Status of Berth No 16-The newly constructed berth No.16 for mechanized handling of coal was inaugurated during the month of May 2019. According to the operators M/s. Chettinad Mangalore Coal Terminal Pvt. Ltd., the 325 MTRS long berth has the capacity to handle vessels up to 1 lakh DWT with a maximum permissible depth of 15.1 MTRS. Whereas, the berth has been commissioned with a declared draft of 11.90 MTRS and LOA of 190 MTRS. The public at large is unable to understand the reason why the berth was commissioned without completion of capital dredging and providing assured draft as per the tender document”.

” We pray that Berth No.16 be completed as per Tender Documents stipulated in Public and National Interest”. It is a shame, the new facility is lying idle after handling a couple of inaugural shipments. It is reliably learnt that the port authority is now contemplating to allot berth No.14 for lighterage operations and subsequently, shift the vessel to berth No.16 for handling balance cargo. The KCCI is of the expressed opinion that the registered stevedores should be allowed to handle all vessels with coal cargo arriving at berth No.14 until such time this berth is handed over to develop a container terminal”.

P B Abdul Hameed -President KCCI

“Regarding the Representation as Trustee on the Board of NMPT-The KCCI had a representation of Trusteeship ever since NMPT was formulated since the 1980’s. The Ministry of Shipping is in the process of re-constituting the New Mangalore Port Trust board for the year 2019 to 2021. As a premier organization of this region, KCCI has worked hard for the overall development of the port and extended necessary co-operation to help the Port serve the State and the Nation. It is our humble request that KCCI is once again re-nominated on the board for the ensuing two-year term. It is public knowledge, KCCI representation has an impeccable record with respect to honesty, knowledge and integrity while serving as Trustee to the board of NMPT”.

“About the Port Infrastructure -Water Way of 14 MTRS Navigable Water with Under Keel Clearance- NMPT’s administration report 2017-18 claims the maximum permissible draft available at NMPT is 14 MTRS. Whereas, in reality, this draft is available only during 3 to 4 months in a year. Currently, the draft has already been reduced to 13.25 MTRS with 1m tide with effect from 9th August 2019 and is expected to be reduced further. It appears that the trade will have to bear with reduced draft for some more months. With this reduction in draft, the NMPT stands to lose a good chunk of traffic which could be decisive in achieving the target set by the Ministry for the current year”.

“Every year, NMPT allocates huge funds for maintenance dredging and if the vendor does not commence the dredging as per schedule, it can be termed as a futile exercise as the trade is not benefited due to erratic dredging schedule. This phenomenon has been a repeated practice and needs to be corrected. This infrastructure lapse has a direct bearing on the PSU MRPL operational costs on energy transportation factor and indirect effect on the common citizen as energy costs and inflation rises. Not providing a Navigable waterway is a national loss to EXIM Trade”.

“Regarding the Connectivity between Mangaluru and Bengaluru-NMPT Gateway of Karnataka- the NMPT handles cargoes originated from the hinterland of this state. Following relentless efforts, many of the shippers have reposed faith in services available at NMPT and cargoes from in and around Bengaluru are being transported to NMPT by road NH 48 (75) via Hassan to Mangaluru for onward shipment. The frequent closure of connectivity roads causes panic amongst the trade. Due to lack of proper connectivity, the trucks carrying containers laden with export cargoes are unable to reach the port in time leading to delays. Many of such containers have missed the scheduled sailing of feeder vessels thereby causing huge financial burden to the trade. We trust your good selves will use your good services to bring this matter to the attention of Hon’ble Minister for Surface Transport and Infrastructure”.

” About Kulai Fishing Harbour near Mangaluru- The foundation stone for Fishing Harbour project at Kulai was laid on 5th March 2019. The central government had sanctioned 50 percent of the total fund under Sagarmala project. NMPT will bear 45 percent and the balance 5 percent will be contributed by Karnataka Government. The jetty is likely to benefit over 10000 fishermen families in this region. As Kulai Fishing Harbour is a Joint Promotion between NMPT, Govt. of Karnataka and the Central Government we hope this will be role model ‘Jewel in the Crown’ under Sagar Mala”.

“We emphasize that a robust, vibrant and modern Fishing Industry will promote employment besides adding to the growth of our agricultural GDP in particular and national GDP in General. A time-bound target date for completion and operation of Kulai Fishing Harbour will fulfill the aspirations of Fishermen folk. The KCCI prays that you will address the above issues and concerns favourably in the interest of NMPT and the trade, commerce and industry of this region. KCCI also seeks an audience in New Delhi when situation warrants’ stated Abdul Hameed, on behalf of KCCI.