COVID-19 effect: Major ports' cargo handling drops about 17% to 245 mn tonnes in Apr-Aug
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New Delhi: Impacted by disruptions caused due to COVID-19, India's major ports continued to witness a fall in cargo handling, registering 16.56 per cent dip to 245.04 million tonnes (MT) between April and August this fiscal, according to the apex ports body IPA.

Cargo volumes at these 12 major ports under the control of the Centre declined for the fifth straight month in August 2020 and all ports barring Mormugao saw a negative growth. These 12 ports had together handled 293.67 MT of cargo during April-August 2018-19, the Indian Ports Association (IPA) said in its latest data.

Ports like Chennai, Cochin and Kamrajar saw their cargo volumes nosedive about 30 per cent during April-August, while JNPT and Kolkata suffered a drop of over 20 per cent. India has 12 major ports under the control of the central government -- Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia). While Kamarajar port saw 31.64 per cent decline in cargo handling to 9.11 MT, Chennai port suffered a drop of 30.36 per cent to 14.42 MT in April-August, as per IPA data.

Cochin Port saw a dip of 29.88 per cent to 10.04 MT during the period. Cargo handling at JNPT port slipped 25.53 per cent to 21.68 MT, while the same at Kolkata declined 23.74 per cent to 20.65 MT. Mumbai port logged a fall of 19.31 per cent to 20.15 MT.

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, sharp declines were witnessed in handling of containers, coal and POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant) among other commodities. These ports handle about 61 per cent of the country's total cargo traffic. These ports handled 705 MT of cargo last fiscal.

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