Pushing the ports under shipping ministry to stay ahead in the business of their private competitors, the ministry has asked chiefs of 12 major ports to learn from them. Following this suggestion, the chairpersons of major ports will visit Mudra port this week, which is the largest private port in the country and run by Adani Group.
The chiefs of major ports will attend the governing council meeting of Indian Port Association at Kandla port on Friday. “Mundra port is only one km away from Kandla port. It will be a good learning experience to see what innovations private players are adopting to grow fast. It will be one-day visit,” a shipping ministry official said.
Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari had recently visited Mundra port and his ministry had also allowed some of the port chairmen to visit Singapore to learn how ports overseas are more efficient. Sources said Gadkari was impressed with the outstanding innovations adopted by Mundra port.
“They have indigenously developed the mechanism to operate cranes from their central control room. Operation of cranes seems like someone playing video game. You don’t find an operator inside a crane, it’s all operated from the central control room. They also have a robust system of monitoring each activity,” said the ministry official.
Last year Gadkari had cited increase in cargo traffic at major ports and negative growth in minor ports to counter allegations of linking the Centre to Adanis. “You always link the name of Adani with the government. It is for the first time that Kandla Port increased its efficiency by 1.44% while Adani’s port went into minus. We have increased our business and they are in the minus,” he had said.
Twelve major ports, which handle about 55% of India’s external trade by volume shipped by sea, had registered increase in their operating profits from Rs 3,593 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 4,268 crore in 2015-16.