Cargo Traffic at India’s 12 major ports during April – February, 2011-12 was 510.8 million tones, which was 1.59 per cent more than the cargo traffic of the same period last year. This was achieved despite the slow down in the global economy. This was stated by Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan while addressing the Consultative Committee meeting of his Ministry, here today. Shri Vasan said at the overall commodity level during April – February, 2011-12, Coal, Container, Other Cargo, Fertilizers and Fertilizer Raw Material and POL cargo posted growth of 9.4%, 6.7%, 5.9%, 1.9% and 0.2% respectively.
The Shipping Minister informed the Members that during April-February, 2011-12, Ennore Port recorded highest growth in traffic at 47%. Cochin Port stood second at 13.7% followed by VO Chidambarnar Port at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu at 13.2%. He said, amongst the major Ports, Kandla Port handled the maximum cargo of 75.4 million tones with a share of 14.8% in total cargo handled at major ports followed by Visakhapatnam with a share 12.2% and JNPT with a share of 11.8% which stood second and third respectively.
Shri Vasan informed the meeting that around 95% of India’s foreign trade by volume and 70% by value is transported through sea. He said 12 Major Ports account for 75% of the total cargo by volume handled at Indian Ports. The volume of cargo traffic handled by Ports is mainly shaped by the levels and changes in both global and domestic activities.
Cargo traffic in iron ore (mainly export) in particular was adversely affected during April-February, 2011-12 and dropped by 28.6 per cent. In terms of composition of cargo traffic handled at major ports, the largest commodity group (with share in percent in total cargo handled) was POL (32.0%) followed by Container traffic (21.4%), other cargo (17.8%), Coal (14.0%), Iron ore (11.0%) and Fertilizer & FRM (3.8%). Major ports which recorded negative growth in traffic during April-February 2011-12 were: Mormugao (20.0%), Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) (9.5%), Chennai Port (7.8%), Kolkata Dock System (KDS) (3.8%) and Paradip (1.6%).
The Members of Parliament participating in the discussion while appreciating the efforts of the Ministry of Shipping in the handling of major ports in the country gave various suggestions for improving the working of these ports. There was a suggestion for urgently filling up the Class III and Class IV vacancies in various ports in the country. One Member suggested that various Ports should take adequate pollution control measures. Another Member was of the view that security of Indian shipping personnel in International waters should be of utmost priority. There was a suggestion for proper Disaster Management Policy also. While thanking the Members for their valuable suggestions for the development of the maritime sector, Shri Vasan said that these suggestions would guide the Ministry of Shipping in optimising the cargo mix at our ports