The minister of state for shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya informed Rajya Sabha in a written reply that the government has raised the target of cargo movement through coastal shipping as 230 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) by 2025 compared to 120 MTPA in the year 2018-19.
The quantity of cargo transported by coastal shipping was 105 MTPA in 2017-18 and 94.5 MTPA in 2016-17.
Steps to boost coastal cargo
In the written reply to the house, the minister also announced the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee under the chairmanship of Railway Board chairman to develop a strategy and implementation for coastal shipping of coal and other commodities.
He announced the licensing relaxation under the Merchant Shipping Act has been extended for 5 years for specialized vessels such as RO-RO, RO-Pax, Hybrid RO-RO, Pure Car Carriers, Pure Car and Truck Carriers, LNG vessels, Over-Dimensional Cargo and project cargo vessels.
The same relaxation was extended to vessels carrying EXIM and empty containers at transhipment ports for outbound transport; and to foreign flag vessels for carrying agricultural, fisheries, horticultural and animal produce commodities and fertilizers.
Coastal Berth Scheme
Mandaviya also informed that till date 39 projects worth Rs1,569 crore has been sanctioned under the Coastal Berth Scheme and it has been extended up to March 2020. A discount of a minimum 40% is offered by major ports on vessel and cargo related charges to vessels carrying coastal cargo. Priority berthing policy for coastal vessels has been notified to reduce turnaround time for coastal vessels and improve their utilization.
Reduced turnaround time of vessels to 59.51 hours
“Government is continuously monitoring and striving to reduce the turnaround time of vessels at ports. A study has been conducted for benchmarking efficiency and productivity of Major Ports to bring them at par with the international standards. The study identified 116 port-wise action points out of which93 initiatives have already been completed which resulted in the reduction of turnaround time at major ports from 82.32 hours in the year 2016-17 to 59.51 hours in the year 2018-19,” said the reply.
Source: Indian Transport & Logisitcs News