It may be recalled that P&O ports was debarred from bidding for the third container terminal due to monopolistic fears. It was now rumoured that both the operators might be asked to stay away from the bidding process for the fourth container terminal, as and when it comes up. P&O port manages the Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal while Maersk India had recently won the bid for the third container terminal at JNPT.
The ministers statement however has laid all speculations to rest. Commenting on the congestion, Mr Baalu said that feeder vessels having a draught upto 9.5 metres and length upto 180 metres will be encouraged at Mumbai Port. Mumbai port will reduce its tariff to encourage container vessels.
Concor in turn will commence rail movement of containers to Mumbai Port Trust with two rakes in a week and add on gradually on rake a week thereafter so as to provide at least one rake per day, he said. The Mumbai Port following the congestion has already seen an increase in container movement from 18,000 TEU per month to 24,000 TEU per month, Mumbai port officials said. The port had handled two lakh container in the last financial year. To reduce congestion at the JNPT port, steamer agents and shipping lines registered with customs will be allowed to move containers by road from the above two ports without bank guarantee.