Friday 20 September 2019

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Infrastructure | Ports

Asian crisis continues hitting MPT

 

Currency crisis in the Asian region is expected to hit the Mormugao Port Trust for yet another year, especially since the port in Vasco here exports 46 per cent of country's total iron ore to the countries like China, Japan and South Korea.

Exports to Japan and China have reduced by 18 and 24 per cent respectively in the year 1998-99 compared to the previous year, resulting into a major setback.. The MPT exports 52 per cent of its total iron ore exports to Japan, followed by 19 per cent to China.

The rest 29 per cent is exported to other Asian and European countries like South Korea, Romania, Italy, Taiwan, Belgium and Turkey, which have also recorded reduced amount of exports. In fact Germany and Saudi Arabia have stopped importing Goan iron ore, while there is insignificant rise in imports by Netherlands, France and Pakistan.

With total traffic recording 15 per cent less mark at the MPT including the exports and imports, the trend of around 18 million tonnes of traffic would continue even next year, admits Dr Jose Paul, the MPT chairman, as the recession could disappear only in the new millennium.

Compared to overall reduction in exports, the imports however seem to be on a rise of 29 per cent, though on a little scale, especially in the sector of general cargo like coal, coke and steel slabs. The container traffic has also recorded a rise of around 2800 tonnes.

Realising that the Mormugao port is being proved economically more beneficial for imports of steel-related raw material for the Hospet-Bellary belt in Karnataka, the MPT authorities have now requested to the ministries of surface transport and commerce to divert the whole traffic from Goa, using services of the south central railway.

The port authorities however are still waiting to bear fruits of the new Konkan railway sector as no cargo traffic has started on the route, though it is actually more economical. "We expect diversion of container traffic from Mumbai to Goa", says Dr Paul.

With private parties coming forward, a container freight station would be now set up at Verna, hardly 15 kms from the port town of Vasco, which would be used for transportation of containers of marine products and "hapoos" mangoes of Ratnagiri.

The MPT authorities are also getting geared up to compete with JNPT, Mumbai as the vessels could unload the imported cargo in Goa instead of waiting for a long queue there and transport it through containers on the Konkan railway route to its destination.






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