Conspiracy to weaken Paradip Port: Minister

Bhubaneswar: Alleging a conspiracy to weaken Paradip Port in the state, Odisha minister Damodar Rout today said that there was a bid to promote a private port in the neighbouring Bhadrak district.

“All the changes of senior officers happened in a span of one month at Paradip Port. Officers from south India are posted here. There is a conspiracy to weaken the Paradip Port which has been classified as the number-two port in the country,” the excise and cooperation minister told reporters here.

Even as Paradip Port was conferred ‘Peacock Award’ for its outstanding performance last year, it did not have a regular Chairman, he said, adding, that the Chairman of the Vizag Port had been made in-charge of the Paradip Port.

“The deputy chairman came from the Madras port and his earlier appointment was in the Goa Port. His tenure in both the ports remained controversial,” the minister claimed.

Rout, who is also the Paradip MLA, further claimed that Paradip Port was being weakened and “It could be verified from the records that there was a waiting period for ships from 9 to 12 days for berthing and around 20 vessels were waiting at the anchorage at the Port.

“But since the last one month, there is no waiting of ships at the anchorage at the Paradip Port and berths are lying vacant, whereas the same congestion at the Vizag Port, Dhamara Port and Gangabharam Port continues,” he said.

“This shows that the traffic of Paradip Port has been reduced substantially which is a very alarming indicator for our port,” Rout said.

Stating that there are a lot of resentment all over Paradip, the minister said the dumper association and others associated with activities of Paradip Port were displeased over the prevailing situation.