BERHAMPUR: The Gopalpur Port was re-commissioned and opened for cargo traffic after Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi formally ushered in the maiden shipment on Saturday.
A vessel from Sri Lanka reached with a shipment of Odisha Sands Complex, a unit of the Indian Rare Earths Ltd, at the all weather direct berthing port, State’s third.
Majhi said the re-commissioning of the port will boost the local economy and thousands of people will benefit from it directly and indirectly. Majhi said the State Government is contemplating construction of 13 ports on public private partnership (PPP) mode and MoUs for two ports have already been signed.
Speaking on the occasion, Managing Director of Gopalpur Ports Ltd Mahimananda Mishra said the port will cater to Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. “The charges of cargo handling here will be lower in comparison to other ports in the country. Semi-mechanised cargo handling facilities and a multi-purpose berth have been constructed in the port, which will be a gateway to the Eastern coast,” he said.
Earlier, vessels used to anchor two km away from the port and loading and unloading of cargo was done through barges. Now the ships can reach the berths directly. With a draught of 12.5 metre, a 225-metre berth has been reconstructed to load and unload cargo. The 1,730-metre brake wall too has been repaired. The port was damaged during cyclone Phailin and had remained closed since then.
Among others, Berhampur MP Sidhant Mahapatra, MLAs RC Choupatnaik, Priyansu Pradhan, Taraprasad Bahinipati, BeMC Mayor K Madhavi, BDA Chairman Subash Moharana and Gopalpur Port Director Manmohan Maharana were present.