‘Incentivising modal shift of cargo’
Maharashtra is keen to deploy its long coastline to boost maritime trade and coastal movement of cargo, both in its major and minor ports. Asheesh Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Maharashtra Maritime Board speaks about the strategies and policies being p
Q What does the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) have in store for coastal movement of cargo?
The Maharashtra Maritime Board has implemented the following plans to catalyse coastal movement of cargo in the state:
• Principle of ‘On one port, one charge only for same cargo’ Till recently, when cargo was imported at a particular non-major port in Maharashtra, it was shipped to another non-major port through coastal shipping, the wharfage charges were levied at three stageswhen the cargo is imported at the first port, when the same cargo is loaded onto smaller vessels for export from the first port and when the same cargo is unloaded at another port. These charges were a financial burden on port operators. To promote and incentivise coastal shipping in Maharashtra, the MMB is granting concession to port operators by levying ‘On one port, one charge only for same cargo’.
Now, when cargo imported in the first port is loaded onto smaller vessels for its onward transportation to other non-major ports, it will be exempted from payment of wharfage charges for the same cargo. When cargo is brought in by smaller vessels from one non-major port at the second port for its onward transportation, the unloading operations for cargo at the second port will be exempted from wharfage charges.
• Integrated development of coastal shipping and inland water transport MMB has identified five potential creeks on the coast of Maharashtra, namely, Vasai, Rajpuri, Bankot, Dabhol and Jaigad creeks for development and integration with coastal cargo movement. In the first phase, three creeks (i.e. Vasai, Jaigad and Rajpuri) have been short-listed for technoeconomic feasibility. • Scheme for Incentivising Modal Shift of Cargo (SIMSC): The Ministry of Shipping, Government of India has formulated guidelines for SIMSC with a view to encourage modal shift of domestic cargo transportation from rail or road to coastal and inland water transport. The scheme will be implemented for the remaining period of the present 12th Five Year Plan. The Maharashtra government through MMB has communicated its acceptance to SIMSC.
Q How does the MMB plan to use the state’s 720 km long coastline?
MMB has signed six Concession Agreements with private entrepreneurs for development of non-major ports namely, RewasAware and Dighi in Raigad District, Dhamankhol-Jaigad and Angre in Ratnagiri district and Vijaydurg and Redi in Sindhudurg district.
Out of these six ports, three ports namely Dighi, Dhamankhol-Jaigad and Angre are operational. While Vijaydurg and Redi ports are in the process of obtaining environmental clearance. The Government of Maharashtra is in talks with Ministry of Shipping and Mumbai Port Trust to resolve the issue through Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) waters for Rewas-Aware port.
Besides these Greenfield ports, the Government is encouraging coastal industries to set up jetties along the coast to facilitate movement of cargo using inland waterways.
Many vessels operating on the coast need repairs and reconstruction. There is a need for new vessels too. MMB is encouraging private players to set up ship building and repairing units along the coast.
MMB is also preparing a comprehensive port policy to address various port related activities for overall and integrated growth of the coastline. This policy shall cover all sectors including ports, jetties, shipyards, shipping, connectivity and coastal economic zones. It shall focus on increasing the efficiency of ports through improvement of hinterland connectivity and faster mechanism for approvals and clearances.
Q Please provide details about Wadhwan Port to be developed in Dahanu.
MMB and JNPT have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on June 6, 2015 for development of port off Vadhavan in Dahanu Taluka, which will be developed as a satellite port for JNPT. The port facility will be created in the inter-tidal area off Wahawan Point. JNPT is preparing a techno-economic feasibility report.
Q MMB had inked a deal with JSW Jaigad Port for development of Jaigarh-Nivli road. How tough do the time line and the funding seem?
The strengthening and widening of Jaigarh-Nivli road will be undertaken to make it double-laned so that faster evacuation of cargo is possible. The entire funding will be provided by JSW Jaigarh Port and the work is expected to be completed within one year in coordination with Public Works Department (PWD). The company has already submitted the project report to PWD for the proposed road project. In view of these facts, we do not foresee any challenges in meeting the time line of the project.
Q Do you foresee any model whereby some subsidy could be offered?
Under the SIMSC formulated by the government for coastal and inland water transport, the incentives will be given to transportation of bulk or break-bulk cargo pertaining to seven commodities, viz., fertilizers, food grains, marbles, tiles, sugar, edible salt and over-dimensional cargo.
JNPT and Maharashtra Maritime Board sign MoU for development of port off Dahanu