Regaining lost ground top priority: VPT chief

K. Rama Mohan Rao, the new chairman of Visakhapatnam Port Trust, said that they would give top priority to regaining the second rank in the country that the VPT once held before slipping to third rank.

Reducing pollution to a minimum in the next one year would also be one of the foremost objectives, Mr. Rao said.

After assuming office, Mr. Rao, a 1994-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, told reporters that the port would improve cargo handling capacity from 63.70 million tonnes to 70 million tonnes. He said that despite the economic slowdown, cargo handling had witnessed a significant improvement at the Visakhapatnam Port.

Environment protection, mainly by restricting open handling of coal and iron ore, would be a focus area. The port is taking steps to have covered stockyards, Mr. Rao said.

Efficiency parameters would be improved to ensure faster evacuation of cargo. With a huge hinterland spread over several States, the VPT would offer an attractive environment to handle cargo exports and imports. Our plan is to raise cargo handling to 70 million tonnes in the next 12 to 15 months, Mr. Rao said.

Lauding the VPT for being adjudged as the cleanest port for three consecutive years, Mr. Rao said that maintaining clean and green surroundings and ensuring transparency would be given utmost importance.

The explosion on board Offshore Support Vessel Coastal Jaguar engaged....

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