The ministry of shipping is looking for alternative sites to shift Mumbai Port Trust’s (MbPT) bulk cargo handling operations, leaving the facility to handle primarily liquid cargo, Nitin Gadkari, minister for road transport and shipping, told newspersons on Wednesday.
Gadkari said that growth and expansion of the city over a period of time has brought MbPT in the middle of the city, and given the nature of the bulk cargo that it handles — coal, chemicals and other ‘dirty cargo’ — the government was looking to move these operations to other locations.
“The movement of coal, chemicals etc through trucks and heavy vehicles creates a lot of congestion in the area and pollution as well. So we are looking for alternative sites to shift these bulk cargo operations of MbPT, and let the port handle only ‘clean cargo’ comprising oil and petroleum products,” Gadkari said.
Fe had reported in November that Mumbai port was already in the process of setting up an LNG terminal, along with its liquid cargo operations to offset some of the revenue loss that it will suffer as it trims its bulk cargo handling business. The proposal to curtail MbPT’s loss-making bulk cargo operations was one of the options under consideration, as a part of the central government’s draft plan to develop the 1,800 acres of the port land in Mumbai into a commercial and entertainment hub.
Gadkari reiterated that the space freed up as a result of this will be used for creating open spaces for the general public.