Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional complications brought about by cyclone Amphan, Paradip port in Odisha registered record cargo handling figures. According to the official figures, it achieved 114.55 million metric tonne of cargo handling in the 2020-21 fiscal.
Paradip Port Trust (PPT) Chairman Vinit Kumar said that the seaport saw a 1.65% growth in cargo handling in FY21. In comparison, the port handled 112.68 mmt of cargo in 2019-20. The port’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) also grew by 6.02% to reach Rs.722 crore in FY21 from Rs.681 crore in the previous financial year.
Kumar also mentioned that the figures of the 2020-21 fiscal year were noteworthy given that two of the port’s berths were out of action due to mechanization work. Given the circumstances, it is a commendable achievement that the port handled over 100 mmt of cargo for the fourth successive year.
Paradip Port Trust is the second-largest port in the country and has consistently pumped out impressive figures every fiscal year. The port is also planning to take up numerous projects to enhance its growth and bring up the port to global standards. Accordingly, the port has signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with Orrisa Stevedores Limited (OSL Group), a major stevedoring and Logistics Company led by Mahimananda Mishra.
One MOU will see the Mahimananda Mishra-led firm set up port-based industries like tank farms under the Paradip Smart Industrial Port City Plan. The other deal will facilitate the movement of gypsum through the Mahanadi River right up to Paradip Port.
Furthermore, projects worth over Rs.2,000 crore are also underway to modernize the existing harbour infrastructure, Kumar added.
The official also disclosed that the port’s berth occupancy has also improved to 74% and the average berthing time fell from the previous 15 hours to around six hours presently. An Rs3,005 crore project for the development of a western dock with a capacity of 25 metric million tonne per annum has also been approved by the Centre.
The Government initiatives plus the investments by important players like Mahimananda Mishra will contribute in pushing the global shipping to pre-COVID levels again. If all goes according to plan, Paradip Port Trust will surely pull out impressive figures by the next fiscal year.
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