REGISTRAR OF NEWSPAPERS OF INDIA
NO: DELENG / 2017 / 70663
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS
EXCLUSIVE
Mr. Sanjay Bhatia(IAS), Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust
By Sea and Coast | 16/07/2019

You have been practicing meditation for 17 years and have also initiated a meditation program for the employees of Mumbai port trust, would you like to put some light on it and its impact on their lives?

Yes, I have been practicing Heart fullness meditation for more than seventeen years. The meditation changed my life and brought balance, humility & creativity in my life. I believe that 'Meditation' is the best change management tool for any organization. I had introduced meditation in CIDCO in my earlier tenure as VC&MD, CIDCO and I had found that it helped in improving integrity and building trust and team work in the organization.

In Mumbai Port also meditation has been introduced during the lunch break in the Port Office, Port compounded area, Port's Training Centre and Port's residential colony. I am seeing an organization culture change happing with this introduction. Employees are more motivated, more loyal to the organization and developing less stress.

You have given Mumbai Port Trust a direction to shift its focus from core activities to other domain. Can you elaborate on this?

Mumbai Port is the second oldest Port of the country. As the Port activities had expanded. Mumbai City was set up through reclamation at the islands. Mumbai Port has continued to be a premier Port of the country providing large scale employment and income generation through trading and allied activities. Even today Mumbai is the fifth largest Major Port of the country with a revenue generation of Rs.1600 crores giving direct employment to ten thousand employees and indirect employment to about one lakh persons and pension to forty thousand retired employees.

Along with handling around 60 MT of cargo. MbPT has also now jointly with JNPT taken up a Project to decongest Thane & Mumbai roads, by shifting the container traffic of JNPT required for the island city of Mumbai to the sea route of JNPT to Mumbai Port. Mumbai Port is also providing the necessary godown spaces for this decongestion to succeed. With this diversion of cargo from roads to Sea route, 1000 trucks and trailers will get removed from Mumbai roads resulting in decongestion of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai roads.

Mumbai Port is now re-visioning itself on the lines of Major International Ports where metropolitan cities have developed around the port e.g. London Dock Yard, Barcelona, Bussan, Rotterdam, Miami etc.

Wherever metropolitan cities have come-up the Ports started shifting towards cruise, water transport and water front tourism related activities. On the same lines, Mumbai Port is now along with handling cargo, re-visioning itselt as sea tourism and sea transport hub of the country.

Thus the Port's commercial (warehousing) areas which have got freed because of stopping of coal handling and shipbreaking are now planned to be shifted towards sea transport, sea tourism, gardens for the city and some employment generating commercial activities to get revenue for the Port.

These tourism activities are envisioned to bring a major fillip to employment opportunity and economic value addition in this part of the city.

Through Sea Tourism Mumbai Port Trust has begun planning for these activities in right earnest and results are showing up. For example, in the year 2017-18 only 45 Cruise ships berthed in the port but in the year 2018-19 the number rose to 98 and in the year 2019-20 it would grow to 256. We got two floating restaurants in the harbor. Marina and Ro-Pax ships are at bidding stage. Construction of International Cruise Terminal is underway. This is new business vertical for Mumbai Port, which eventually other city based ports will also have to include with cargo business, in separately earmarked areas.

What do you think will be the role of tourism and other associated sectors in the ocean economy?

The huge middle class is the aspiring class for cruise experience. Annually about 200,000 Indians are taking cruises abroad. 10 times of this number, is the next level middle class aspiring tourists. They are waiting to get a cruising experience in their own country without spending additional overseas tour costs. There is an explosion waiting to happen in this segment. New business entities have sprung up in cruise tourism which was hitherto a privilege of the foreign companies. Jalesh Cruises and before that Angriya Cruises, have literally set fire on the ocean economy. As I said, this is just the beginning and the Ministry and Mumbai Port Trust, have set its goal to achieve 1000 ship calls and  One Million passengers per annum in 5 years and 2000 ship calls and Three Million passengers per annum in 10 years. Likewise, other segments of tourism business like Marina, Floating Restaurants, Fast Ferries, Ro-Pax service are set to contribute significantly in development of ocean economy.

MPT has extensive plans to revamp the city to promote tourism through different projects. Would you like to elaborate on the key features of these plans and development & infrastructure projects?

The key infrastructure projects undertaken by the Port to promote Sea tourism are as follows:

Construction of an iconic International Cruise Terminal (ICT): An ICT having area of 4.15 Lakh Sq. Ft. (Ground + 3 upper floors) is under construction at Ballard Pier Extension (BPX). The Ground & First floor will be used for operating International Cruise Terminal. Second & Third Floors will be for commercial activities with shopping malls. This will be a pride of Mumbai. The Civil & façade work is amounting to Rs. 270 Crores and is in progress. The terminal will be ready by December, 2019.

The upgraded infrastructure of Mumbai International Cruise Terminal will promote Cruise tourism with expected 500 nos. of Cruise calls every year having capacity of 5000 passengers per vessel. Cruise Vessel 'Karnika' of 'Jalesh' has already commenced operation from BPX berth in April, 2019.

Renovation of Sr. Dock Master’s building into Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT); and Operation of Mumbai-Goa Cruise Service from the DCT at Victoria Dock.  MbPT has made a state of the art DCT in an area of 6680 Sq. Mtrs. at a cost of Rs.9 Cr. to cater to domestic cruise ships in Indian Waters. The facility is ready. Cruise Vessel “Angriya” has already started operating between Mumbai and Mormugao from the DCT. The Operations & Maintenance Contract has been recently awarded to M/s. Sukhsagar Hospitality services Pvt. Ltd. They are going to spent Rs.5 Cr. for O&M operations initially.  Implementation of this project has made the surrounding area of New Ferry Wharf more vibrant for the city.

Construction of Ro Pax Terminal at New Ferry Wharf. A Ro Pax terminal with a capacity of  120 Cars and 18 buses/trucks is completed at Ferry Wharf at a cost of Rs.32 Cr. with Ro Pax service between Mumbai and Mandwa passengers will be able to take their vehicles in the vessel and save considerable time in wading through the circuitous road from South Mumbai to Goa. This will save at least three hours of commuting time for the passengers wanting to go to Goa from Mumbai by Road. Besides saving of time & cost, it will also result in saving the environment.

Construction of Marina for 300 yachts at Prince’s Dock - Work of building a state of the art marina has been taken up to provide facilities for yachts and pleasure crafts. The project will involve construction of floating pontoons for yachts, their fuelling & repair facility, the flea market, waterfront club and the iconic Hotel. The DPR is finalized and the work will be awarded shortly.

Development of Ecological and Cultural Park at Sewree: An ECO park is planned on 10 acres of land in front of Flamingo habitation, including Mangrove trail made up of bamboo/wooden slippers, viewing gallery, sit out areas, Nature Interpretation Center and museum etc. The project is expected to give impetus to Ecotourism in the city. This ECO park will be first of its kind and of particular interest to Educational institutions, Ornithologist, Wildlife photographers, trekkers, Researchers and Tourists (domestic and international) etc. The DPR is prepared by the Consultants and the work is likely to start.

Development of Kanhoji Angre Island as a tourist destination. The island is situated at mid-sea off Thal (4.5 km) near Alibagh. The island will be having gazebos, watersports, trekking and adventure activities. The work is in progress.

Waterfront development at Prince’s Dock. A one kilometer waterfront tourism hub at Prince’s Dock near DCT is being developed by constructing amphi-theatre, skating rink, Seaside restaurant, fountain, etc. The civil work is in progress. The waterfront development will add an additional tourist spot near new Ferry Wharf, which will be accessible to public with redefining of custom notified area of the Port.

You have been very keen on environmental issues.  The MbPT has introduced several plans under your guidance to reduce the carbon emission of the city/ Can you put more light on it for our readers about your efforts on environmentalism?

Various activities undertaken by the Port to improve environment and reduce Carbon mission  can be classified into following six areas.

 (1) Solid Waste Management

Under Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 Solid Waste generated is segregated into three categories Green Bins:  Wet Waste / Organic Waste, Blue Bins:   Dry Waste/ Inorganic Waste, Black Bins:  Domestic Hazardous Waste. Awareness programmes on segregation of solid waste are in progress. Posters and Pamphlets have been Published and Distributed in MbPT Area Expression of Interest (EoI) for “Solid Waste Collection, Segregation, Transportation, Treatment, and Disposal is invited for Solid Waste generated in Mumbai Port Trust area. Technical Bids have been opened and scrutiny is in the process.

(2) Hazardous Waste Management:

Port has empanelled the MPCB approved firms for collection of sludge oil/Waste oil/Bilge/Slops from the vessels calling at Mumbai Port and has disposed 5646 MT of sludge oil this year.

(3) E Waste Management

Under the E- Waste Management Rules, 2016, Mumbai Port Trust has imposed restrictions on dropping of e-waste in dust bins. Special places are identified for collection and storage of e-waste. MbPT has adopted a buy-back Policy. Disposal of e-waste is carried out through MPCB registered recyclers and processors. The Port maintains uptodate record for e-waste in Form – 2 of the e-waste (Management) Rules, 2016 and has Disposed off 14.28 MT of E waste during 2017-18.

(4) Construction and Demolition Waste Management

As per the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016, Construction & Demolition Waste – Building material, Debris and rubble from Construction, Repair and demolition is not mixed with other solid waste but stored and disposed separately. Disposal system for this category of waste is taken care of in the tender clauses for each project. The waste is handed over to authorised processing facility. 

(5) Sewage Treatment

Under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1975 & Environmental Protection Act & Rules 1986, Sewage from Port colony is treated at 250 CMD capacity STP at Colaba Colony and Treated Sewage water is reused for botanical garden.

 Tenders are also invited for setting up 3 MLD STP in Wadala. Technical Scrutiny of Bids is in Process. Treated Sewage water from this plant is proposed to be reused for Industrial Operations.

(6) Solar Energy

MbPT has already installed rooftop solar plant of 50 kWp and 75 kWp on Nirman Bhavan and Bhandar Bhavan buildings at Mazgaon. SECI has floated a tender for 1000 MW of solar roof top capacity in Government of India buildings, which includes ten office buildings of MbPT for installing additional 447 kWp. Besides this following Sagarmala projects, which are under implementation will also aid to reduce Carbon Emission in the region --

 

Sr. No.

Project

Total Cost Crore

Current Status

Expected Date of Award

Expected Date of Completion

Remark

1

JNPT- Mumbai Port Barge- Ship Operations to Reduce City Congestion and Create Value for Trade

 

160

Under Tendering

25 Oct 2019

-

Project period is 20 years. Directly reduce vehicular emission, thus reduce carbon emission

 

2

Ship Repair Operations and Management of Ship Repair Facility at 7 Indira Dock, MbPT

 

80

Under Implementation

 

April 2021

Ship Repairs helps in smoothening of sailing and less chance of marine pollution

3

Development of Ecological and Cultural Park at Sewree

 

5

Under Implementation

 

31 Jan 2020

Carbon sequestration and awareness about Marine Ecology

4

Dedicated goods line between Wadala and Kurla for freight movement from MbPT

 

176

Under Implementation

 

 

Will help in reducing carbon emission

The MbPT is the biggest landowner of the city and recently took steps for redevelopment of its land. Would you like to shed some light on these steps?

MbPT has nearly 840 Ha. of land along the Eastern Waterfront of Mumbai from Colaba to Wadala. MbPT has been appointed as Special Planning Authority for an area of 966.30 Ha. MbPT is proposing redevelopment in the area between Cotton Green, Haji Bunder and Hay Bunder :- Nearly 282 Ha. of land have been identified for development of waterfront tourism, recreational parts, Port allied activities, Government staff quarters and offices & part of the area for commercial development. A large park of 143 Ha is proposed which will act as lung space for Mumbai. Plans are also being prepared for redevelopment of Darukhana area which presently is devoid of any proper infrastructure facilities.

The activists have been claiming these projects can lead up to some serious environmental damages. How do you plan to proceed further?

The proposed development will be environment friendly. All the smart infrastructure will ensure recycling of waste water, recycling of solid waste, water conservation, energy saving etc. The projects will be implemented with the approval of the Environment Department wherever required. MbPT has already planned an Eco-Park on the existing mangroves at Sewree on an area of 10 acres. The Park will provide an opportunity to educate the residents about the importance of the mangroves and also act as viewing gallery for flamingos. The waterfront will be developed with promenades, jogging parks and bicycle tracks. The city will be walkable and bicycle friendly. The reclamation proposal has been already cleared by the CWPRS without any adverse effect of siltation and  water flow. However, it will be implemented only after the clearance from Environment Department. Considering the above, the effect on Environment should be on positive side. 

There was news about 10.6% wage hike agreement signed between management and the union of workers. This agreement will cost the government Rs.560 Crore per year.  Would you like to tell us more about it?          

A Settlement dated 30.08.2018 on wage revision of Class-III & IV employees of Major Ports has been  signed under Section 12 ( 3 ) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 before the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central ) with Labour federation.  This settlement is effective from 01.1.2017 for a period of five years upto 31.12.2021. The wage revision was as such due from 1.1.2017 and was felt necessary for running the Port smoothly and efficiently. Additional expenditure on account of wage revision of employees is fully borne by the respective ports.  In Mumbai Port the approximate hike due to the said Settlement for existing MbPT employees is Rs. 164 crore per annum.

The Globalization has brought new security challenges before Industry. Can you tell us about the steps taken regarding this issue?

MbPT as also all Major Ports have their ISPS Plan which is routinely put to test by mock drills, involving all security agencies as CISF, State Police, Coast Guard, Navy, etc, the technology is being utilized and an effective shield is in place by all these stakeholders. Continuous training, reliable intelligence inputs, Robust check and upgradation of technology in proportion to threat perception, is being done to enhance security.

 




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