MUMBAI: If an experts' panel is to be believed, the new terminal meant for loading and offloading of containers, which is coming up near Victoria Dock, is a money-losing proposition. The Mumbai Docklands Regeneration Forum, a citizens' group comprising activists, urban planners and naval experts, has warned the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) that its on-going project at Mazgaon is bound to fail. The members met the port chairman Rajeev Gupta last week and offered an alternative concept plan, which envisages the use of the new jetty-being built for the terminal-for cruise liners and the adjoining areas to park private yachts and boats-usually left haphazardly off the Gateway of India-rather than using them for containers. Their arguments is that the topography of the area is such that even after dredging, a few monsoons later, the depth of the sea will decrease and that will ground the containers.
However, port authorities have defended the project, stating it was an essential requirement to meet the infrastructure gap. Union shipping minister G K Vasan, in a letter to south Mumbai MP Milind Deora in 2009, had said the Prince's and Victoria docks had outlived their utility and were now suited only as a stack yard for containers for the proposed project. "The apprehension that it will lead to congestion in the city is unfounded as only 14% of the port's total cargo, more than half of which is for the city's consumption , use the city roads. Rest of the cargo is moved through pipelines, rail and waterways, without using the city infrastructure," he said. Read more
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com