Visakhapatnam Port Trust, which is on an expansion mode, is contemplating setting up of Inland Container Depots in Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Odisha to transform the premier port under the Central Government into a container hub.
The States concerned have been informed through letters about the intention of the VPT for which the Ministry of Shipping has given in-principle consent. The plan is to acquire land to an extent of around 200 to 400 acres each in Hyderabad, Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Jharsuguda (Odisha) and develop required facilities to convert them into 'dry ports.' “As logistic cost will come down substantially if containers from the three States are transported to the City of Destiny by rail to ensure faster evacuation of cargo, it is considered a most viable option,” Visakhapatnam Port Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu told The Media on Monday.
Detailed project reports will be submitted to each State during the week. “Our plan is to acquire land preferably on outright basis and create infrastructure like railway siding, customs bonding and warehousing for seamless connectivity,” he said. Visakhapatnam Port set up in 1933 at present has a capacity to handle 90 million tonne. It is implementing various capacity augmentation projects under the PPP mode to take the capacity to 120 million tonne by 2016-17.
Most of the containers carrying pharmaceuticals, textiles, chemicals and other material from Telangana could be handled by Visakhapatnam Port instead of routing them through JNPT. The CONCOR's present ICD at Sanatnagar of Hyderabad is congested. Chhattisgarh has no port and Visakhapatnam is close to it distance-wise. For ICD proposed at Jharsuguda, both Dhamra and Paradip ports in Odisha do not have container handling facility.
'Novel initiative' - VCTPL COO :- Visakha Container Terminal Pvt. Ltd COO Sushil Mulchandani has welcomed the proposal to develop Inland Container Depots in Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Odisha by the Visakhapatnam Port Trust. Asked to comment on the proposal mooted by VPT Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu, Mr. Mulchandani told The Media that “it's indeed a novel concept and will be the first in the country. By setting up own ICDs in these areas that constitute the VPT's hinterland these facilities become the extension of the port there.”