Protected by a humongous Dolphin Nose mountain, Visakhapatnam has been always idealised for being the best natural harbour. It is hence no surprise to find that it bags the 2nd position in the country in terms of the cargo volume it handles. Inaugurated in 1933 by then Viceroy and Governor General Lord Willingdon, this port was built on 0.28 billion cubic feet of land purely made out of dredging. Also, 3 berths were built in this 1600 ft quall walled port.
Back in time, when the British India Steam Navigation Company owned Burma Vessels, this port drew hides, skins and cloth. While Bengal Nagpur railway got involved into building the inner harbour, the breakwaters we often mention today was created by sinking the Janus and Wellesden ships.
Operating 1.3 lakh tons of cargo during its initial years of operation, berths that supported it then are now set to become history. The reason being, advancement is a necessity and for allowance of more freight handling operations. The dismantling of these old berths is in process and alongside there will be a replacement done with new berths which are designated to receive the Panamax ships carrying 2 Lakh tons of dead weight.
While East dock 2 and 5 are partially converted, it is dock 3 and 4 that’ll get a full revamp. All this, to convert it to 14.5 meters from its initial 11 meters draft for handling more cargo. One of the above mentioned docks have a history too, for receiving SS Jaladurga, the first passenger vessel for Scindia Navigation Company. The dock handling then was done by Ramabrahmam and Sons.
The reason for this transformation was summarized by PL Harinadh (Visakhapatnam Port Deputy Chairman) who reportedly states the old docks being redundant and hence the need for new ones. The two berths built near Jubilee Gates will be of world class standards, he added.
K Krishna Kumar (Visakhapatnam Stevedores Association president) reportedly conveys his emotional attachment with a berth that was built by his grandfather in his days. He also mentions the need of a bigger and advanced berth for handling larger vessels thereby improving freight.
Scheduled to finish by 2018 September, this operation has been awarded to ITD Cementation Ltd with a deal of 1920 million rupees for the construction of two large berths.