Chennai Port Trust (CPT) wants to increase the volume of clean dry bulk and break bulk cargoes like food grains, fertilizers in order to compensate for the decline in the iron ore and coal cargoes.
The port lost about 18 million tonne of cargo comprising about 10 million tonne of coal and 8 million tonne of iron ore in the last few years owing to reasons beyond the control of the port.
On grounds of environment pollution, the Madras High Court banned the port from handling dusty cargoes like iron ore and coal in October 2011.
These cargoes have now shifted to Ennore Port, originally conceived as the satellite port of Chennai to handle the dusty cargoes.
There has been a substantial drop in revenue owing to loss of iron ore and coal which is estimated to be around Rs 250 crore.
Following this, the port is transforming its berths that previously used to handle coal and iron ore to now handle alternative dry bulk & break bulk cargoes.
The port also stepped up their marketing efforts to recover the loss to its top-line.
Meanwhile, the port filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court and an order is awaited that will decide the future of handling iron ore and coal cargoes.