PARADIP: Paradip Port Trust (PPT) Chairman G. Jagannath Rao took voluntary retirement on Friday.
While Rao said he availed voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for personal reasons, the decision has stunned employees, officers and trade union leaders. He had joined PPT on January 8, last year.
Rao said he had sent a request letter to the Union Ministry of Shipping for approval which has accepted his resignation. Deputy chairman Ananth Kumar Bose will now be the acting chairman of PPT.
Sources said Rao opted for VRS as he had an offer from Adaani private port to join them as the chief executive officer. Others hinted at the CBI probe against him as the deputy chairman of the Chennai Port Trust.
During his tenure at PPT, Rao had planned to set up a satellite port at Bahuda Mohana near Berhampur in Ganjam district and had requested the State Government for 2,500 acres of land. He also negotiated with the district administration to resolve the 47-year-old land dispute between the Government and PPT.
The port had recently celebrated its golden jubilee.
Besides, he had an ambitious port expansion plan to augment its capacity to 250 MT with 28 berths by 2020 at an estimated cost of ` 10,000 crore.
Trade union leader and newly elected PPT trustee Sudhakar Mantry said Rao has taken some major steps for the development of Paradip port and his departure may affect their progress.