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Riding on improved bulk traffic, the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is on course to achieve a growth of around 8 per cent in traffic handling to 55 million tonnes in the current fiscal year, a top KoPT official said today.
The Kolkata Dock Complex and the Haldia Dock System together handled about 32 million tonne traffic till October 31 as against 28 million tonnes in the corresponding period a year ago, KoPT Chairman Vinit Kumar said.
"The main growth drivers are improved bulk traffic in Haldia port, container traffic in both Haldia and Kolkata ports, apart from good pulse traffic," he said.
Out of the projected 55-million tonne traffic for FY18, the Haldia Dock Complex is likely to clock 38 million tonne.
Kumar was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Annual Shipping Conclave here on 'Changing Scenario of Indian Ports' organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Kumar said the Port Trust is finalising a scheme with IIT-Madras for a pipeline that would collect silt from vessels and carry it to Nayachar Island in Hoogly river for dumping.
"When it accumulates silt, the dredger has to go around 13 nautical miles away to drop the silt and come back. In this process, two-three hours are wasted. The plan is we are going to dump this on Nayachar Island. We have requested the state government for permission," the senior KoPT official said.
It is also working with IIT-Madras on silt management at the Haldia channel, including a proposal to construct a "silt trap", which will act like a big ditch for collecting silt.
"We will go for detailed project report and tendering soon regarding this. Work is likely to start in six-eight months," Kumar said.
On the proposed Tajpur port in East Midnapore district, he said a committee is looking into its techno-economic feasibility document.
"We hope by this month end, it will be approved by the panel, and then we will likely float tender for appointment of a consultant by December 15," Kumar added.
The Port Trust's RoRo vessel project for goods trucks crossing the Ganges from Kolkata to Howrah, is likely to start in the next six-eight months, said S Balaji Arunkumar, deputy chairman, KoPT.
The RoRo project is aimed at reducing road congestion and increase movement of trucks to and from the Kolkata docks.