Kolkata port readies for ₹800-cr upgrade

In an ambitious endeavour, Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata (SMPK), plans to reconstruct and mechanise two container berths at the Netaji Subhash Dock of the Kolkata Dock System (KDS) within two years.

SMPK aims to award the ₹800-plus crore public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the next three months.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways had earlier this month approved the projects for the re-construction of berth No. 8 and the mechanisation of berth No. 7 and 8 at the Netaji Subhash Dock. The foundation stone for the project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 1.

Shorter wait for ships

“The projects for the re-construction and mechanisation of berths at Netaji Subhash Dock of Kolkata Dock System are a part of the government’s drive to enhance container and cargo handling capacity, and further mechanisation of SMPK. Tender for the projects has already been floated. We are looking to complete the tender process and award the projects within the next three months,” says SMPK chairman Rathendra Raman.

The projects will be executed on a ‘design, build, finance, operate, and transfer’ (DBFOT) mode.

“After the completion of the projects, the container handling capacity of berth No. 7 and 8 at Netaji Subhash Dock will stand at 0.48 million TEUs. Later, it can go up to 0.78 million TEUs. Under this project, three rail-mounted quay cranes will be installed. It will reduce the detention time of ships at the dock and increase efficiency,” Raman says. 

Sagarmala projects

Consisting of two dock systems, KDS and Haldia Dock Complex, SMPK, formerly known as Kolkata Port Trust, has a combined cargo handling capacity of around 87.5 million tonnes (MT).

The port authorities plan to increase the combined capacity to 115 MT by 2030 through 15 PPP projects. Three projects, worth ₹733 crore, have been awarded, while the rest, cumulatively worth around ₹5,200 crore, are in the pipeline.

In West Bengal, the Sagarmala programme for port-led infrastructure development oversees 62 projects valued at ₹16,300 crore, of which 19 projects worth approximately ₹1,100 crore have been completed and the rest are in various stages of implementation.

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