Mumbai Port Trust to develop new container terminal
The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) has received the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority’s nod to develop a new container terminal and two offshore berths.
The work is to be carried out without land reclamation that could have a harmful environmental effect and affect the flamingo population.
Mumbai Port, one of the oldest ports in the country, has repeatedly been losing its container cargo for many years to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), formed in 1989 by the Indian government as a satellite port to release the load off MbPT.
However, while JNPT proceeded to attain the status of the country's top container port and barged into the top-30 list of the top container ports in the world in 2018 itself by meeting the 5 m twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) output mark, MbPT has struggled to touch even a low capacity of 20,000 TEU in FY21. Its container throughput was 18,796 TEU.
There remains some scope for increasing container output at MbPT, which is managing the export of cars from its offshore container terminal at Ferry Wharf even though additional ground expansion at the already crowded JNPT would be challenging.
The port has already lost its prominent position to Mundra port, owned by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ).
MbPT is presently trying to reacquire some level of container throughput by building a container terminal, and two offshore berths, which will be built by filling the basins of Princess and Victoria docks.
Rajiv Jalota, MbPT chairman, told the media that since the Ministry of Shipping wanted larger container ships to arrive directly to Mumbai, the port has built a terminal inside the sea and connected it with a road on stilts.
Additionally, the chairman said that they have already completed two berths and the approach trestle, capital dredging for the berth pocket, filling of Princess and Victoria Docks, rail container depot, approach channel, and turning circle dredging. But there is no land redemption, they are only filling old dock basins.
The port is also in the process of obtaining cargo handling tools, developing the container yard, and leading further capital dredging in the basin of the natural harbour that has seen a lot of silt accumulation over the years.