Rajiv Jalota to Steer Mumbai Port to Revival and Growth
A Master of Science (Chemistry) from Lucknow University, Rajiv Jalota joined Indian Administrative Service in 1988 while pursuing Masters in International Development Policy from Duke University, USA.
Having worked in senior positions at MIDC, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Sales Tax, GST, Corona Control Room and the Higher and Technical Education department of Maharashtra, Mr Jalota joined as Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust with effect from 4th November 2020.
Mr Jalota talks about his experiences and future plans for Mumbai Port.
Having vast knowledge and experience, what do you hope to achieve in this position?
Focus will be to recoup the slide in the traffic volume in last nine months on account of COVID-19. The Port has also embarked on ambitious projects related to capacity augmentation, environmental upgradation and other measures required to improve the turnaround of the trade to bring in more business. Furthermore, various city-related projects especially relating to providing water transport facilities from the Eastern Water Front have been embarked upon, besides the projects to boost cruise and tourism sector.
What are your future plans for the progress of Mumbai Port?
Mumbai Port held a leadership position by continuously undergoing transformation in its shape, facilities, technology by adopting new policies in tune with the requirement of the trade and city.
However, with a large mega polis surrounding it from all sides, there is an inevitable conflict between the Port's cargo business and the city's needs. To be relevant and sustainable for many more decades, MbPT has to dive deep not only to see the present, but also the future. While the mega polis is undoubtedly posing challenges to the traditional model of the Port business in terms of evacuation difficulties by road and environmental concerns of dusty polluting cargoes; it opens up many new opportunities, being a number one and prime urban space. A Master Plan in this regard has been prepared with long and intensive consultations with all stakeholders including employees and Unions.
This Master Plan has three distinct characteristics:
- Cargo related: Increase cargo by improving efficiency, cost reduction and using more of pipelines and water ways for evacuation while containing and stopping the dusty polluting cargoes.
- Sea Tourism related: Transform the waterfront and port facilities which fall into disuse, redundancy and re-orient them for new opportunities of tourism development.
- Smart City related: Use vacant and idle land which is not required for future Port business, and monetize it to secure the long term financial requirements of Port like Pension Fund, etc.
Cargo Related Projects:
- Expanding the POL capacity by constructing JD-5: The biggest crude oil terminal with a capacity of 22 million tonnes per annum is being constructed at Jawahar Dweep Island.
- Bunkering Terminal: This project takes advantage of the over 5000 ships visiting the Mumbai Harbour annually.
- F.S.R.U. for LNG: This shall provide clean energy upto 5 million tonnes per annum without creating stress on land side facilities as the Floating Terminal would be in sea and evacuation of LNG would be through sub-sea pipelines.
- Barging of containers between JNPT and Mumbai: This project is to get more containers from JNPT through waterways, by covering only a distance of 14 kms, eliminating a long road journey of 120 kms, and, its resultant pollution and road congestion.
- Indira Dock upgradation: Mumbai Port will continue to be a port for Automobile and steel and so, for efficient and cost effective facilities, improvement is being effected by repairing and refurbishing the warehouses, roads and employee's amenities.
- Ship Repair Project: Hughes Dry Dock, MbPT and four berths in Indira Dock are developed as Integrated Modern Ship Repair Facility by long term easing to Cochin Shipping Yard Ltd.
Sea Tourism Related Projects:
- International Cruise Terminal (ICT): The Mumbai ICT is under development at Ballard Pier extension berth at an estimated cost of Rs.495 crores. This terminal shall not only be used for cruise ships, but also by the city folks because it will have retail stores, restaurants, leisure areas and many more facilities.
- Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT): DCT helped promote a cruise ship between Mumbai and Goa, operating with high occupancy rate showing the demand for many more such services in future, not only connecting other Konkan Ports but also Gujarat Ports like Porbunder, Bhavnagar etc.
- 1 km. long Mumbai Port Waterfront at Prince's & Victoria Dock Wall: This integrated water transport hub shall have all modern requirements for leisure and commute for city folks. This facility will have Ro-Pax Terminal with sea side restaurants, skating rink and cycling tracks, amphitheatre, Domestic Cruise Terminal, marina, floating restaurants, harbour cruises etc.
- Ro-Pax Terminal: It is perfect example of harnessing water ways for commuting / tourist movements and reducing the road traffic. Ro-Pax services between Mumbai, Mandwa and Nerul have opened up. Further important nodes will also be connected as to Navi Mumbai's new upcoming airport.
- Marina: Mumbai's first modern Marina will have about 310 yachts parking capacity with 102 yachts in dry stack yard with all necessary facilities.
- Floating Restaurants: Two Floating Restaurants have already been approved.
- Rope way between Sewree to Elephanta: The world’s longest rope way over the sea of approximately 8 kms. shall be built in PPP mode costing about Rs.700 crores.
- Kanhoji Angre Island Tourism: A jetty is built and internal facilities are being developed, so that this can become truly a new venue for the day trip picnic, heralding new opportunities of leisure and adventure.
Smart City Related Projects:
- Eastern Waterfront Smart City: About 700 acres is identified for development of Eastern Waterfront areas of Mumbai Port. A huge 300-acre park, with an ecological park for preservation of mangroves is going to be the city's future lungs & green space.
- Development of a Super Specialty Hospital: A 600 bed super specialty hospital is planned at the existing locations of MbPT hospital on PPP basis to provide the improved health facilities to 75,000 port employees and their dependents, as also to a huge population in its catchment areas.
- Ecological Mangrove Park: MbPT has planned an Ecological Mangrove protection park in Sewri.
Mumbai is retaining its character as Cargo Port, but embracing new opportunities in leisure and tourism arena and also reclaiming its land and waterfront by removing the encroachments and putting up its surplus land and waterfront for revenue realization for fulfilling the pension fund to secure the future of pensioners, employees and their families.
What policies should a port adopt to ensure good financial health?
To ensure good financial health, ports should adopt a policy to progressively move towards landlord model to play a facilitator to use port’s geography and the regulatory role to bring interface between the efficient and cost-effective service providers’ i.e. terminal operators and the importers and exporters - the end users.