Steep fall in iron ore exports and insufficient rail racks supply have become a cause for concern for the Vizag port. The port has a cargo handling capacity of about 92 million tonnes but last fiscal it handled only 58 million tonnes, and this year it may decline further.
This is mainly due to a decline in iron ore exports and insufficient rail racks supply from the railways, a senior port official told Business Standard.
During last fiscal up to June 8, the port handled 11.6 million tonnes of cargo, whereas it handled 9.8 million tonnes in the same period in the current fiscal, thus witnessing a shortfall of 1.8 million tonnes.
Iron ore exports from Vizag port has been gradually declining due to central government's decisions, he said. Some four years ago, the port handled 19 million tonnes of iron ore in a single year, but it declined to 8 million tonnes in the 2014-15 fiscal. Last year, the port handled 2.4 million tonnes of iron ore up to June 8, whereas this year it stood at only 0.6 million tonnes, down 75 per cent, port sources said.
Apart from this, shortage of rail racks is also affecting cargo handling. The port needs daily 15-16 rail racks for inward and outward cargo movement, but it gets on average 10 a day. As a result, the stock yards of the port are filled will cargos. After mechanisation of the general cargo berth by the Vedanta group, it is seeing an increase in steam coal, but because of evacuation problems, more than 200,000 tonne is lying in the open.