Gujarat trade welcomes Shipping Minister Gadkari’s idea of floating jetties

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October 15, 2014
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Gujarat trade welcomes Shipping Minister Gadkari’s idea of floating jetties

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Gujarat trade welcomes Shipping Minister Gadkari’s idea of floating jetties

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That the impact of thought-provoking news articles, carried by this national shipping weekly,Sagar Sandesh from time to time is felt in the corridors of power was seen in very speech of union shipping minister Nitin Gadkari  when he inaugurated maritime India museum centre at Goregaon in Mumbai  the other day.

Stating that the Sagarmala programme of the union govt was to bring port-led industrial development  in the country with least logistic costs and for that, his govt would even plan for floating jetties near village coasts. The key words of the minister here were ‘floating jetties’ which were for the first time heard along with other similar key equipment, ’floating cranes. In fact, Kandla was the first port in the country to use floating cranes to unload cargo from a huge cape vessel which had again come for the first time to any Indian major port for mid-streaming unloading .And the credit for this solely goes to grand old man of shipping world, B K Mansukhani. His Rishi shipping company, this year’s top handler of cargo at Kandla, in fact, handles five million tons of cargo midstream this way.

‘I am happy that very thoughtful minister Gadkariji is convinced that the country’s true industrial development lay in coastal handling by non-conventional  way of handling cargo midstream with the help of floating jetties and floating cranes as we have successfully experimented first time in the country at Kandla which is now not only one more time number one major port in the country,but the first and the only one which has crossed this year 100 million mark. I am indeed grateful to the dynamic minister who very well understands what the maritime India and its trade wants ‘’Bhagwan Mansukhani, when contacted for comments, told this paper in an exclusive talk.

In fact, Mansukhani has written countless letters on all innovative methods of handling cargoes at major ports at reduced logistic costs, not only to the KPT authorities, but to the shipping secretary and the shipping minister, for the past one decade. He sent his last letter in February again explaining why the low-draft Indian major ports should go in for mid-stream handling. And this paper in the past two to three years has reported in details so that the country’s maritime industry could be competitive in the world.

Mansukhani says that even the minister had admitted that in India the logistic cost is 18 per cent while it is just 8 per cent in China where its ports resort to mid-stream handling of even bigger than cape vessels to get benefit of logistic costs involved in handling of on-berth cargo. He said in a small country like Vietnam, one would find its entire coastline studded with industries at some distance from the coast.

‘Here you bring the biggest vessel like cape one and with the help of floating cranes and jetties and hoppers and a conveyer belt unload the cargo and directly bring it ashore close to factory. That is all. And you save a lot. You have not to spend Rs.400 to Rs.500 per ton involved in multi-mode handling transportation of cargo. Only thing is that the port does not get its port charges, but the nation is winner as our product would then be cheaper in international market like China’ he says .He calculates that in transloading one has to pay only Rs.12 per mt ton as port dues against Rs.90/110 per mt when a vessel has to berth at Kandla. He says the vessel does not need higher draft as it stands already anchored in deep sea point with no need for any berth to discharge it. He says that constructing a regular berth costs Rs.300 cr and here this huge amount is saved.

What investment would be here for the port or port users or service providers? Simply Rs.60 crores,he says for buying two floating cranes for discharge of vessel at anchorage in deep-sea. The port user has to spend Rs.100 PDA if a vessel uses berth, but this amount would be only Rs.12 as there would be no PDA (Port’s various charges) as the ship is handled mid-stream.

He says Gujarat, which is industrially one of the top states, boasts of the longest coastline-1600 km-in the country and is an ideal place to successfully experiment the mid-stream handling and lining up of industries along the coastline. He said that Kutch has the longest coast line of 400 km, perhaps long in the country. He says here two big ports, the govt controlled major port of Kandla and private port of Adani exist. The district has virgin coastline and new industries worth hundreds of crores are in the pipeline. The new industries be given barren land close to the sea-coast where no CRZ rules are applicable and be asked to import their raw material and export their finished goods through coastal shipping using the new method of midstream handling.

– D V MAHESHWARI

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