The Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has been declared 2nd cleanest in India on the basis of sanitation parameters among the major ports in the country, for the third successive year. The selection was made on the basis of an independent assessment made by the Union Ministry of Shipping.
The New Mangalore Port has received the top honours for the second time. The VPT has received the Swachh Survekshan award for the third time in a row ever since the award was introduced. Haldia Port was declared the cleanest in the country when the award was introduced.
Interestingly, VPT Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu held the additional charge as the head of Haldia and New Mangalore ports when those bagged the top slots in maintaining cleanliness among the major ports. This year, the VPT has bagged the second prize in the implementation of ‘Swacchta Pakhwada’ programme. According to the port officials, several measures have been initiated to ensure cleanliness.
More than Rs.200 crore port has invested to shed the ‘dirty port’ tag to shed the ‘dirty port’ tag attached to it a few years ago, by implementing mechanisation programme in a big way.
Many green measures have also been implemented. Recycling of 10 million gallons per day of sewage water, commissioning of a 10 MW solar power plant and supply of the surplus power to the State grid, entrusting the maintenance of toilets in port area to Sulabh International and construction of a soccer stadium-type wall around the port to prevent the spread of dust particles are to name a few.
“The Ministry has engaged Quality Council of India (QCI) to make the assessment and we have retained the position for the third time consecutively. We have not only dispensed with the old file system, but also cleared the debris, ensuring seamless connectivity and 100% e-filing and governance,” VPT Deputy Chairman P.L. Haranadh expressed.
Referring to the implementation of ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’, he said it has been made a regular activity by involving the stakeholders and people living in the port neighbourhood.
“The port has spent Rs. 60 crore on solar power plants so far. Plans are also afoot to increase its power generation capacity by another 5 MW,” Mr. Haranadh expressed.
Stating that handling dry bulk cargo such as iron ore, coking coal and manganese and maintaining cleanliness as per the international standards was a Herculean task, he said they had also introduced mechanised road cleaning and truck tyre washing system to ensure that no vehicle entering the port area would leave, carrying dust.