Country's largest container port JNPT is investing Rs 150 crore to install three mobile scanners, which shall reduce the time taken for operations.

At present, it has only two scanners and containers take up to two days to pass through because of the long queues, port officials said today.

"We will be putting three more container scanners in the next six months at a cost of Rs 150 crore to make the operations smoother," its chairman Anil Diggikar told reporters here.

He said the initiative is being undertaken as part of the 'ease of doing business' initiatives at the port so that it becomes more competitive and is compared with the best in the world.

The two operational scanners are located at Dronagiri and the state-run JNPCT terminal at present. With the new scanners, each of the three terminals will have a scanner of its own, he said.

Deputy chairman Neeraj Bansal said specifics like the charges to be levied has not been decided as yet and will be decided soon.

The port is doing the investment proactively in order to ease operations, he said.

Diggikar said at present, the World Bank ranks JNPT at 130 among global ports on ease of using the facility and it is targeting to break into the top-50 with the initiatives like these which it is undertaking.

In order to stay relevant by attracting ocean going liners with greater capacities, the port is set to award a Rs 2,000 crore dredging contract this fiscal which shall deepen the draft by one metre to 15 metres, the chairman said.

Simultaneously, work on the Rs 7,900-crore fourth container terminal awarded to PSA (Port of Singapore Authority) is also progressing, he said, adding that once the entire 3.8 million standard container unit capacity comes on board in 2022, JNPT will be among the top-20 ports globally.

On the satellite port of Vadhvan, off the coast of Dahanu in Palghar district, Diggikar said the detailed project report is being made at present and the contract will be awarded next fiscal.

At present, agencies are carrying out a detailed socio economic and environmental assessment on the project, he said.

Source: Hellenic Shipping news