The Port Day was observed on the auspicious day of Kartik Purnima by the Paradip Port Trust (PPT) on Tuesday. PPT Chairman Rinkesh Roy unfurled the Paradip Port Flag at the Wet Basin and performed the traditional Kalas Puja and handed over the sacred Kalas to the Sadhavas who set sail on board a traditionally-decorated boat.
Port Deputy Conservator Capt AK Mohapatra welcomed the guests and explained the importance of the Port Day.
Roy outlined the tremendous growth of the port in recent decades. The port’s operations began in 1966 and its annual cargo handling capacity rose to 10 MMT in 1995, which further rose to 50 MMT in 2010; and in FY 2017-18, it crossed the coveted 100-MMT mark.
And it is now aspiring to be the No. 1 port in India. It is now following a transformational agenda with the advance technology adoption for its future growth. In the last few years, a 90-MMT capacity addition has been made.
He said new projects are underway, out of which works worth Rs 4,500 crore are nearing completion. A desalination plant, a multimodal logistics park, introduction of bus services for employees and workers in the port prohibited area, construction of a gated colony and insurance for workers have recently been done.
The PPT would soon launch an “Operation Green”, under which 50,000 saplings would be planted in the locality.
Roy also said that under the community development programme, under the aegis of Paradip Sakshyarata Samity, e-learning through computer classes is being promoted in the locality. Sanitary pads for adolescent girls, zero plastic campaigns are underway.
The PPT Hospital has conducted free cataract operations of 250 BPL people. Under the Smart Industrial Port City project, a 2nd Exit-cum-Fly over and another bridge, adjacent to Atharbanki Bridge, are in the pipeline.
For their dedicated services in their respective fields, conch player Kulamani Barik, garden supervisor Anand Chandra Sethi, Sukanti Lenka for her service to differently-abled children, Safai Karamchari at PPT Hospital Binapani Das and dance teacher Smrutikant Sharma were felicitated on the occasion.
Dr P Panda, who attended the function as guest of honour, threw light on the glorious maritime tradition of Odisha. PPT CME Saroj Das extended a vote of thanks.