Among the capacity augmentation projects were the ambitious offshore container terminal (to add 10m tonnes or 1.2m teu), a chemical jetty (2m tonnes), redevelopment of harbour wall berths (7m tonnes) and the fifth oil berth (18m tonnes) which would increase port capacity from the current 44m tonnes to 94m tonnes by 2013-14. The 800,000 teu capacity first phase of the offshore container terminal is scheduled to commence operations by December 2010.
Meanwhile, the web-based port community system would be in place at Mumbai Port by December 31 this year, which will facilitate a “totally paperless regime”.
Cargo handled by the Port has doubled over the last few years, with the 2006-07 throughput of 52.36m tonnes reflecting the highest growth rate of the country’s major ports. Accordingly the Port needs to be expanded given the growing economic activity in its hinterland, mostly comprising the city and Maharashtra State (accounting for 96% of its cargo). The Port also required expansion because 76% of its cargo is captive traffic.
According to Ashok Kumar Bal, deputy chairman, Mumbai Port Trust (MPT), Mumbai Port does not congest the city as only 14% of its cargo used state roads, with the rest being moved through pipelines (62%), rail (6%), waterways (12%) and MPT roads (6%). Moreover, 58% of the 14%per cent moved through state roads was for city consumption.
“The Port’s expansion plans were based on well thought-out and diversified options, encompassing more transportation by rail, bypassing Mumbai to connect directly to the national highways and increased use of waterways,” he said