Deputy Chairman, Trustees, Port users, Heads of Departments, Officers, Employees, Teachers, my dear School Children and Distinguished Invitees.
I humbly accept the privilege bestowed on me to unfurl the National Flag on this historic occasion of India’s 68th Republic Day and I extend my warm patriotic greetings to all of you.
On 26th January 1950, the Republic of India was born and the world’s largest democracy was established. The Constitution of India was mandated to take effect on 26th January 1950 to commemorate the 1930 declaration of Purna Swaraj. It is on this day the nation enjoyed the true spirit of Independence.
Republic Day, the Day itself is inspiring as it sends strong message to our competitive and challenging youths who would eventually take the country to new heights, but at the same time remember the sacrifices of our freedom fighters and more important their duty and commitment towards mother land. The modern day India represents the largest democracy in the world with a simplest picture of unity in diversity, unparalleled anywhere in the world. The Parliamentary form of government, as provided by The Constitution of India, aims to have a positive effect on the social and economic development of the Nation. The Guarantees enshrined in the Constitution provides Fundamental Rights to the citizens of the Country – Right to Equality, Right to Freedom of speech, Right against Exploitation, Right to Freedom of Religion, Cultural and Educational Rights and Right to have Constitutional Remedies. These Fundamental Rights form the basis of Governance of our Country and provide Civil Political, Social and Economic Liberties to the citizens.
On this day of great significance, we are duty bound to remember and pay our rich tributes to the founding fathers of the Constitution. Today, we enjoy the benefits of Independence due to the far-sighted vision and arduous labour of the founding fathers.
Even though the year 2016 has been a year of challenges for the World Shipping industry, the Union Ministry of Shipping led the Indian Shipping industry on the growth path by implementing various programmes such as Sagarmala, which is a game changer.
I am proud to say that V.O. Chidambaranar Port’s positive growth rate of 4.18% recorded till the third quarter of 2016-17 is in the backdrop of challenging scenario. We are able to achieve this positive growth percentage despite sharp decline in coal demand from thermal power plants by about 2 million tones, this means we have offset the dependence on coal and have succeeded in improving in attracting other cargoes.
The Port handled 289.67 lakh tonnes up to December 2016, against 278.06 lakh tones during the corresponding period in 2015-16. In the container segment, the Port has recorded a growth of 5.84% by handling 4.71 lakh TEUs up to December 2016 compared to 4.45 lakh TEUs in the year-ago period.
By raising the bar to meet the global standards, V.O. Chidambaranar Port has provided innovative solutions to the Port community in 2016 like providing Shore Power facility to vessels in VOC-II and VOC-III berths. V.O. Chidambaranar Port is the first Indian Port and only the 22nd Port in the world to offer this state-of-the-art facility. The Shore Power facility cuts 6 tonnes of carbon emission/day and 1,500 tonnes of carbon emission/year in the harbour areas and benefits the Port users by way of fuel saving, which is estimated at about Rs.74,000/day. Taking the cue from V.O. Chidambaranar Port, other Major and Non Major Ports in India are now actively engaged in introducing the Shore Power facility.
In line with the Government’s target of 100 MTPA for capacity addition at the 12 Major Ports, almost half this number of 54 million tones has been assigned to V.O. Chidambaranar Port and this amply signifies the potential and importance of V.O. Chidambaranar Port, occupies in the Shipping Ministry’s ambitious plans for growth and also the trust in the Port Management.
The mechanization of cargo evacuation from 9th berth to coal yard has been commissioned well ahead of schedule by three months. The Rs.92.72 crore project with the projected handling capacity of 5.92 MTPA ensures quick evacuation of coal from the 9th berth using hopper and conveyor system and greatly reduces pollution.
Other significant projects that are likely to be awarded in 2016-17
include the development of Rs. 586.89 crore development of North Cargo Berth –
III project for handling coal with the capacity of 10.22 MTPA, the Rs. 515.18 crore
development of North Cargo Berth – IV project for handling containers and other
clean cargo with the combined capacity of 8.62 MTPA and the Rs. 106 crore
upgradation of Coal Jetty 1 & 2 project with the capacity of 10 MTPA.
The development of Rs. 123.35 crore Shallow Draught Berth project
for handling General Cargo with the capacity of 2.41 MTPA and another
Rs. 65.37 crore Shallow Draught Berth with the capacity of 2 MTPA for handling
construction materials is due for issue of LOA in the next two months. Apart from
this, DPR for another major project, i.e. Rs. 870 crore deepening of Channel up to
14.5m is under preparation and for award shortly.
In an initiative to do away with manual cleaning and to ensure
pollution free environment, two Sweeping Machines with the cleaning capacity of
15,000 sq.m/hour has been operationalized in the Port. The Rs.7.77 crore project
involves Heavy Duty truck mounted vacuum suction type road sweeper with
To reduce dust emanating from VOC III and VOC IV berths,
installation of eight electrically operated eco hoppers have been planned. The
Rs. 38.10 crore project with the holding capacity of 120 MT per hopper is
expected to be commissioned by August 2017. The eco hoppers will be designed
with dust suppression systems and will be fitted with rubber tyres for mobilization
In 2016-17, VOC Port surpassed the milestone of 1000 vessels at a
pace, a week earlier compared to the previous year. The Port has handled 1284
vessels up to December 2016 against 1204 vessels handled during the same
period of the previous year.
As part of the Green Port initiative, 400KW solar plant with the
capacity of 6.8 lakh units/year was installed at the rooftops of the buildings in the
Port under power purchase scheme in November 2016. The Rs.3.83 crore project
will provide power supply to Community Hall, Port School, Port canteen and Port
Hospital and will cut carbon emissions by 476 metric tonnes per year.
The Port has planned to install 5MW solar plant in about 25.50 acres
of Port land for which a MoU has been signed between VOCPT and Solar Energy
Corporation of India. The grid connect type solar power plant is expected to be
commissioned by August 2017. VOC Port has become the first Major Port to
replace conventional lights in all residential quarters with LED lights, which will
save 370 units of energy per hour and the annual savings in electricity bill will be
approximately Rs.43 lakh.
The Port has taken various steps to achieve the goals of Digital India
Programme and to promote ease of doing business. The Port is in the process to
implement RFID based Access Control System for entry & exit gates at Zones A &
B and Check posts to facilitate web based vehicle pass generation. This will
significantly enhance the security at all gates of the Port and will ease movement
of trucks without stoppage or delay. The Port has also implemented Electronic –
Delivery Order (e-DO) as part of Port Community System (PCS).
VOC Port is proactively taking steps to achieve complete cashless
environment by replacing cash payment with digital payments at the Pass Section
in the Port.
In order to achieve paperless office and digitization leading to ease of
doing business, our Port has taken action to issue the vessel entry/outward
The students of Port Schools through their excellence in academics, co
curricular and extra-curricular activities are continuously making us proud. I
congratulate all the teachers and associates who are committed to the all-round
development of young minds and are striving hard to shape the future of India.
VOC Port has been a pioneer in many aspects so far this year and I
am sure that the dedicated and hardworking officers and employees will take the
Port to new heights. On this day of national importance, I thank the port users
and all the stakeholders for their support and expect their cooperation in future,
which is full of challenges and opportunities.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had said and I quote: “The duty must be
performed; let the efforts be successful or not; let the work be appreciated by the
ignorant or not. When a man’s sincerity of purpose and capacity are proved, even
his enemies come to respect him.”
Let us all resolve to march along the vision of the founding fathers of
our Republic that every citizen of India is equal in the eye of law, and no one is to
suffer because of religion, creed, caste, colour or race.
I once again quote Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Chairman of the Drafting Committee
of the Constitution of India, “We are Indians, firstly and lastly!”.