India's top 12 ports registered a 12.43 per cent decline in cargo traffic during the April-October period of the current fiscal to 354.81 million tonnes (MT) amid COVID-19-related disruptions, according to ports' apex body IPA.
India has 12 major ports under the control of the central government -- Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, sharp declines were witnessed in handling of containers, coal and POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant) among other commodities.
These ports handle about 61 per cent of the country's total cargo traffic. They handled 705 MT of cargo last fiscal.
Cargo volumes at these 12 major ports have declined for the seventh straight month in October 2020.
During the April-October period of the last fiscal, these 12 major ports had handled 405.20 MT of cargo.
The 12 major ports handled 354.81 MT of cargo between April and October this fiscal, according to the Indian Ports Association (IPA) which said that the "percentage variation against previous year traffic during April to October 2020 vis-a-vis April to October 2019" has been 12.43 per cent.
Defying the broader trend, Mormugao saw an increase of 16.47 per cent in cargo handling to 10.17 MT during April-October period this year.
Cargo handling at Kamarajar Port (Ennore) nosedived 30.56 per cent during April-October to 12.53 MT, while ports like Chennai, Cochin and Mumbai saw their cargo volumes drop about 20 per cent during the said period.
JNPT and Kolkata ports suffered sharp declines of 18 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
Deendayal Port saw cargo volumes dip by 11.5 per cent, while VO Chidambarnar recorded a dip of 10.8 per cent and cargo handling at New Mangalore and Visakhapatnam dropped by over 5 per cent. Paradip Port recorded a decline of about 4 per cent.
Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has recently said the cargo traffic at 12 major ports declined considerably from March onwards, adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister, however, had added that recovery has started since June 2020.
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