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KoPT bets big on outsourcing

August 09, 2007 12:24 IST

Kolkata Port Trust, the second largest port authority in the country, would be going in for a complete revamp of its operations in its drive to raise productivity.

"The port would be issuing global tenders shortly to get service providers which would deliver guaranteed productivity gains, initially at the Haldia and later at all the port facilities," confirmed KoPT chairman Anup K Chanda.

KoPT expects the productivity at its Haldia Dock Complex to double from an estimated 8,000 tonnes per day (tpd) per jetty to at least 20,000 tpd. The trust handled over 55 million tonnes of cargo in 2006-07 and is on track to top 60 million tonnes this fiscal.

"The trust will be executing agreements with equipment operators laying down a system based on basic payment for a specified productivity norm with penalty clauses for short performance and bonus payment for performance in excess of set targets.

"The port is moving away from older norms like availability of equipment because of the need to raise volumes and deliver lower cost and time benefits to users," said Chanda.

"For HDC, the port will invite equipment manufacturers or operating agencies to run the operations on performance-only basis, while the trust will provide the necessary supporting infrastructure," he said.

The interested bidders would be invited to examine and study each berth or dock individually and then come up with solutions for enhancing productivity from the on-ground infrastructure, the spatial distribution of the work and a comprehensive solutions package.

Though some external agencies have equipment like mobile cranes in use within the KoPT system now, these are mostly based on availability norms, an operating process that seems to have reached its performance limits, he indicated.

KoPT has two major operating zones: the HDC handles mostly bulk cargo and contributes more than three-quarters of KoPT's volumes, while the other facility, called the Kolkata Dock System, handles mostly container cargo and higher value small loads.

"We will start with the newest jetties at HDC, where the port does not have any legacy problems, see if we can develop new cargoes like edible products from there and dovetail these facilities to supporting infrastructure like railway lines, inland water transport jetties and container yards.

KoPT recently allotted space to both Concor, the Indian Railways owned container company, and the Inland Waterways Authority of India within its premises under full service agreements.

Pradeep Gooptu in Kolkata
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