Nellore: Heavy rains in 2015 dent port revenue
Nellore: In a bid to overcome the steep fall in revenues last year as a result of heavy rains in November and December in SPSR Nellore district, Krishnapatnam Port is gearing up to improve both imports and exports this year. The heavy rains led to considerable fall in the revenues of customs and railways in Krishnapatnam Port 2015-16.
The cargo handled by the port was down by 7.5 million tonnes compared to the previous year and this is attributed mainly to drop in the imports of iron ore.
Incidentally there was increase in both export and import of other commodities last year, sources said.
The railways which made a record Rs 2,058 crore in 2014-15 through freight charges for transporting coal, iron ore and fertilizers and other bulk cargo ended up with Rs1,331 crore in 2015-16 financial year. In case of customs the drop is to the extent of '210 crore and this also due to dip in iron ore imports.
According to sources in Railways, diversion of cap vessels, especially th-ose carrying coal, to ot-her ports due to silting of the KP Port after rains had dented their revenue. As many as 12 vessels with cargo capacity of 2.5 to 4 million tonnes diverted to other ports and the operations in the port almost suspended for four days during the rains.
Apart from heavy rains the slump in the import of iron ore to 1.5 million tonnes as against 9 million tonnes in the previous year played a major role on revenue loss.
Relaxing restrictions imposed on mining of iron ore in the country led to the situation.
A customs official said that Krishnapatnam Port had registered steep inc-rease in handling cargo during 2014-15 because several vessels bound for Visakhapatnam Port we-re diverted to KP Port af-ter Hudhud played havoc with Visakhapatnam. He said that KP Port faced similar situation due to rains in the fag end of 2015.
According to the official, economic recession in Europe and USA also had their share in denting the revenues.
Export of rice, wheat and maize also came down considerably and the Port has been paying special attention to improve the situation by inviting traders of all agriculture and aqua culture commodities to make use of their services.
The Port has been aiming to achieve a target of 53 million tonnes of cargo for 2016-17 as against 35 tonnes last year.