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SMP Kolkata plans to invest Rs 4,000 cr by 2030 to expand capacity : Chairman, Rathendra Raman

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KOLKATA : The Kolkata Port, now known as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, is planning to invest Rs 4,000 crore by 2030 to expand cargo handling capacity to 130 million tonne, its Chairman Rathendra Raman said on Wednesday. The port can now handle 87 million tonne of cargo and had previously set a target to ramp up the capacity to 110 million tonne by 2030.

“One of my key priorities is to maintain double-digit growth, profitability and transforming the port into a green one. To ensure sustained growth, we will increase the total cargo handling capacity to 130 million tonne and will invest Rs 4,000 crore,” Raman told reporters here.

He outlined 11 upcoming projects aimed at modernising and enhancing the infrastructure in phases to achieve the goal.

During the 2022-23 fiscal, the port handled 65.66 million tonne of cargo and anticipated a 13 per cent growth in the current financial year.

Notably, the port achieved a record net surplus (profit) of Rs 304 crore in FY’23.

In a bid to reduce congestion and pollution in the city, the port has acquired a Rs 450-crore outgate dock facility spread across 300 acre of land in Hooghly district’s Balagarh, situated 85 km upstream on the Hooghly River.

He said that Rs 98 crore has already been allocated for basic infrastructure development, and the port plans to pursue a public-private partnership (PPP) project with an investor to manage port activities.

The Balagarh facility is expected to be a mixed-use port, capable of handling 1.6 million tonne of coal and 85,000 containers.

With the successful trial run of a cement cargo to the north-east through Myanmar’s Sittwe Port, Kolkata Port authorities are expecting “better cargo handling” for the NE region to North East in future.

The cargo was flagged off from Kolkata in May 4 and received at the Sittwe Port on May 9 by Union Shipping Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal and Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister for Transport & Communications of Myanmar, Admiral Tin Aung San.

The port authorities have engaged a consultant to conduct a feasibility study for a new tunnel under the Hooghly River for the transportation of vehicles, he said, adding that the under-river tunnel project is still in the nascent stage.

A tunnel under the river has been built by authorities of Kolkata Metro.

Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation scripted history on April 12 when its rake ran through the tunnel under the Hooghly for the first time in the country from Kolkata to Howrah on the other side of the river.

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