|The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) has firmed up plans to advance systems at Kolkata docks by the end of this year. It plans to invest around Rs 55 crore for this.|
According to officials, this is the first time such a huge amount is being invested to concretise the entire dock area.
“Kolkata dock system needs a facelift. About Rs 30 crore has been sanctioned under Swacch Bharat plan. We received money on March 31,” said KoPT chairperson M T Krishna Babu. Sources said Netaji Subhash Dock would be the first to be benefited, after which Khidderpore dock would be revamped.
The revamping is likely to make handling cargo more professional and easy, officials believe. As per sources, the improved system would ensure equipment at docks are not damaged easily, which is one of the biggest challenges at present.
The plan includes augmentation of capacity and consolidation of existing facility at the two dock systems, said officials. As per officials, development of infrastructure like construction of riverine terminals,mechanisation of berths, container terminals are being planned. Modernisation plans will also incorporate transloading facilities for handling dry bulk cargo, floating cargo handling at Sagar, development of deep sea port at Sagar, said officials.
The Kolkata dock system serves Nepal and Bhutan as well.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of KoPT has expressed his concern over Rs. 3000 crore deficit in Pension fund and said, “I have told unions the pension is safe only if the port earns enough to fill deficit in the pension fund.”
Kolkata Port Trust has reported a healthy growth of 12.6 percent in operating surplus.
“Despite slow market we have registered rise in operating surplus by 12.63 percent to Rs 631.12 crore during the year. We have also recorded highest growth in coantainer handling in Kolkata,” Babu added.
THE INDIAN EXPRESS