VASCO: The supposed privatisation of Mormugao Port, which is one of the major ports in India prompted All India Port & Dock Workers Federation & MPRW Union hold a meeting to discuss the impact of Major Ports Authority Act 2021 in the MPT guest house on Thursday.
Mormugao Port & Railway workers (MPRW) Union, in a press statement, said that they are not against any development, but while handing over the ports national assets to private entity utmost precautions needs to be taken to protect the interest of the port as well as its employees and its pensioners. Moreover, the port also acts as a resource during emergency at the time of war like situation, pandemic, etc.
The press statement further elaborates that the Port Management has gone ahead with the process of outsourcing the berth No. 9. Presently there are approximately 1300 employees and 4500 pensioners dependent on the Port revenue. It is pertinent to note when projects, which are carried out on the basis of estimation of consultants, have never been a success. No. 7 is a standing example. Since its commencement in the year 2014, the Adani project never achieved the projected estimated turnover. Moreover, as per the Ministry’s guideline the said project had to be declared as stress project and concession in payment of port dues was extended to the concessioner. “Now, the Port Management has floated the Expression of Interest (EOI) for berth No. 10 & 11 and held meeting with the interested parties, which we apprehend would be detrimental to the Port, its labours and pensioners,” MPRW stated.
“We ourselves can run the operations with the existing facilities. But the Board of Trustees meeting held on September 22, 2021 approved the Revised Feasibility Report, draft SFC memo, RFQ, RFP,” said MPRW.
Concessional Financial Appraisal Report for redevelopment of berth No. 9 and three barge jetties under PPP mode, which itself will take away the pie of cargo, predominately handled at berth no. 10 & 11, claimed MPRW.
The proposed berths (10 & 11) are having capacity to handle 6 MMT per annum and due to the shortage of cargo available to handle, the berths are not utilised to its maximum limits. “If the port is able to attract more/new cargo, the port can definitely generate more revenue,” said MPRW.
The union fears that the port employees will be rendered surplus and might lose employment. “This will render financial instability to the Port. In addition to this, there are more than 5000 families who are indirectly benefiting from these berths, especially the transporters, ship chandlers, stevedores, etc and their employees will also lose their employment,” it stated