Pon. Radhakrishnan, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, reviewed the performance of Cochin Port Trust yesterday in a meeting attended by Shri. Pravir Krishn, Joint Secretary (Ports), Ministry of Shipping, Shri. A.V. Ramana, Dy. Chairman, Cochin Port Trust and other Heads of Departments. The Minister appreciated the initiatives taken by Cochin Port to implement RFID based Gate Access System and Online Berth Allotment System towards facilitating trade and enhancing efficiency. He noted that with the waiver of penal interest, the creditworthiness of Cochin Port has been enhanced, allowing it to vigorously pursue new projects. The Minister expressed keen interest in the cruise tourism promotion activities of Cochin Port and assured support for the new cruise terminal project planned at Ernakulam Wharf to accommodate cruise vessels in the most professional manner comparable to international standards.
He also noted that the prospects of domestic cruise tourism in India with cruise ships home-porting at Cochin are high. There are new opportunities for Cochin Port with prospective cruise liners showing interest in the circuit, Colombo-Cochin-Male-Colombo, and circuits connecting Mumbai and Male, calling Cochin enroute. The Minister also appreciated the efforts of Cochin Port on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and directed the Port to carry out zoning of its areas towards focussed attention involving all the stakeholders including employees, trade and community. He also directed that efforts made may be documented towards demonstrating the effect of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Shri. Pravir Krishn, Joint Secretary (Ports) noted that the hurdles faced by the Port are of short term nature, and that the Port should aggressively promote industrial manufacturing and related activities in its vast land area. He said that Cochin Port should go for sizeable projects leveraging the Smart City project it has initiated. He directed Cochin Port Trust to prepare a futuristic 10-year plan to sustain itself in a profitable manner.