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'We'll Have To Pump Rs 150 Cr For Restoration'

Kandla Port, "the hub of India's foodgrain exports and oil imports", has been hit in more ways than one. A.N.M. Kishore, chairman, Kandla Port Trust, talks about battling the breakdown after the cyclone and the renewed vigour with which the

'We'll Have To Pump Rs 150 Cr For Restoration'
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Can you quantify the kind of losses suffered by the Kandla Port?

 "We have suffered a direct loss of Rs 132 crore. Since our assets are not insured, these losses will have to be borne by us. The port has also suffered from cargo and import-export losses. While five lakh tonnes of cargo have been damaged by 30-40 per cent, cargo owners have suffered a loss of Rs 60-75 crore."

What have been the major hits for the port and how have you dealt with it?

"We were fortunate to establish crude oil linkage within six days of the cyclone. The port has the largest tank farms for petroleum oil and lubricants (POL) and chemicals. This berth is badly damaged, so we have diverted the chemical pipeline for POL products. But right now, there is hardly any supply of POL from here. The two virtual jetties—that of IOC and HPCL—were badly damaged as has been the berth of IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertilisers Cooperative)."

Which regions will be hit by the undoing of the port's operations?

 "Imported LPG comes to only three ports in India—Vishakapatnam, Mangalore and Kandla. The LPG pipeline, which has a handling capacity of six lakh tonne per annum, has been badly damaged and will take 45 days to be recommissioned. This will affect the North-West states."

Does KPT have enough funds for relief, restoration and expansion?

"KPT has its own contingency funds. We had a surplus of Rs 175 crore last year and were hoping to reach a surplus of Rs 200 crore this year. But now, we will have to pump Rs 150 crore into relief and restoration. Development work is going on concurrently and new berths are to be built."

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