Chairman's Message

As we celebrate the 71st Independence Day of our motherland, I am both honoured and humbled by the privilege bestowed on me to hoist the national flag on this historic day. Please accept my warm patriotic greetings on this day of great national importance.

This year we also commemorate the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement, an important milestone in the Indian freedom struggle, which began on August 9, 1942 led by Mahatma Gandhi. This revolutionary movement and the subsequent developments resulted in the Britishers leaving India and the country getting freedom on August 15, 1947, i.e. (that is) five years after the movement was started.

As the nation will be observing 75th Anniversary of the Quit India Movement this year, five years from now i.e. on August 2022 we will complete 75 years of an Independent nation. This five year period, from 2017 to 2022 gives us a unique opportunity of ‘Sankalp’ to ‘Siddhi’ towards a ‘New India’. Hence, this Independence Day is celebrated as the ‘Sankalp Parva’ or the “Day of Resolve”.

Ahead of the 71st Independence Day, the Honourable Prime Minister of India in his Mann Ki Baat programme has exhorted the countrymen to use the same spirit to expel the problems of communalism, casteism, corruption, terrorism, poverty and dirt from the country by 2022. It is imperative on all of us to make a resolve by invoking the spirit of Quit India Movement to end the multitude and continuing problems of our nation, which would accelerate in the culmination of the schemes for planned growth and enable the nation to embark on the next stage of development and progress, that would also enable India to be on par with the most developed nations in the world and I am confident India could be an example of all encompassed progressive sustained growth to other nations as well.

The Government of India with its game-changing plan for the country has implemented a number of schemes, which has propelled the image of Brand India in the international arena. The Jan Dhan Yojana scheme that enables anyone in India to open an account in a bank is a first of its kind programme that has given big boost to direct subsidy transfer. The first of its kind LPG subsidy reforms, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Make in India, Digital India and the Government’s stern action to curb black money are some of the examples of the schemes implemented by the Government of India, which will have a far reaching impact on the society and in the growth of the nation.

Major Ports in India have been witnessing sustained planned growth in the last three years. Thanks to the vision of Ministry of Shipping in particular our Hon’ble Ministers of Shipping, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan and Shri Mansukh Mandaviya and the Ministry officials for giving fillip to the Port sector by introducing the much needed and long due futuristic programmes such as Sagarmala. The Ministry is intent in bringing the facilities and services available in Major Ports of India on par with the international Ports. From enacting the National Waterways Act to boosting Inland Water Transport as a means for a fuel efficient, cost effective and environment friendly mode of transportation to envisioning of new Major Ports to develop the country’s port infrastructure, the Ministry has left no stone unturned to achieve the objective.

V.O. Chidambaranar Port is surely in this league of fast-growing ports, which is evident by its efforts in massive capacity addition projects. The Port leads all Major Ports in capacity addition by adding 44.94 MTPA in 2016- 17, while the total capacity addition by all Major Ports was 100.47 MTPA during this period. It is a matter of great pride to note here that 45% of the total capacity addition from one single Port, has been from our V.O. Chidambaranar Port. With the above capacity addition, the capacity of Indian Major Ports has crossed 1065 MTPA. I am proud to say that V.O. Chidambaranar Port received the Special Achievement award for Maximum Capacity Addition from the Page 4 of 9 Hon’ble Union Minister of Shipping and I thank all officials and staff for this achievement.

It may also be recalled that V.O. Chidambaranar Port received award for highest growth rate for cargo handling and attaining Results Framework Document (RFD) targets among all Major Ports during the last financial year.

Port achieved financial turnover of Rs. 686.71 crores with Gross Operating Surplus of Rs. 286.39 crores and net surplus of Rs. 171.17 crores in the financial year 2016-17. The operating ratio was 41.88 % in 2016-17, the lowest when compared to 43.47 % in 2015-16.

V.O. Chidambaranar Port recently bagged the National Award for Excellence in Cost Management for the year 2016 from The Institute of Cost Accountants of India under the Transportation and Logistics category. It is matter of great pride the Port is receiving this award for record fourth time.

During 2016-17, V.O. Chidambaranar Port handled an all-time record cargo of 38.46 Million Tonnes surpassing the previous year’s achievement of 36.84 Million Tonnes, registering an impressive 4.38% growth rate due to handling of higher volume of Fertilizer, containerized cargo and general cargo. The Port handled a throughput of 6,42,098 TEUs in 2016-17 Page 5 of 9 compared to the previous year’s 6,11,714 TEUs, registering an increase of 4.97%

V.O. Chidambaranar Port has embarked and initiated studies for development of the inner harbour by constructing berths and upgrading the existing berths for optimization of the inner harbour capacity and to match the Port facilities to match with the international Ports. The Port capacity is planned to be increased to 182.30 MTPA in 2020-21 from the present 50.21 MTPA.

To cater the future generation of vessels, V.O. Chidambaranar Port has taken action to increase the present maximum draft at the Channel from 14 m to 16.5 m and Inner Harbour from 12.80m to 15.20m draft in a phased manner at a total estimated cost of Rs. 3,462 crores.

V.O. Chidambaranar Port has carved a niche for itself and is appreciated for its innovative and futuristic projects. The Port’s initiative in providing Shore Power facility is now recognized in the international arena. V.O. Chidambaranar Port is the first Indian Port and only the 22nd Port in the world to offer this state-of-the-art facility.

The Port’s reputation as an innovative and user-friendly organization is reaffirmed recently as we took steps to set up the Special facility for handling raw cotton at Berth VIII. The recently inaugurated facility is part of the Port’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ initiative. In the second phase, a Free Trade Page 6 of 9 Warehousing Zone (FTWZ) with world-class infrastructure will be established. The Port has thus taken effective steps to drive port-led industrialization, which is one of the main objectives of Ministry of Shipping’s Sagarmala programme.

Under Green Port Initiative, the Port has commissioned 500KW solar power plant at roof top of administrative office building, Port Hospital, community centre, Port School, T – shed. This will generate 8,50,000 units solar power per annum. Through Green Port initiatives, V.O.Chidambaranar Port is committed to enhance the green belt in the Port estate to raise the quality of the environment. The Port is efficiently managing the green cover despite water shortage.

I am happy to inform that an Information Centre with audio-visual theatre at an estimated cost of Rs. 2 crores, a state-of-the-art training centre at the cost of Rs. 50 lakhs and Shopping complex at the cost of Rs. 2.5 crores are in advance stages of completion and will be inaugurated shortly. To enhance the security of Port residential area, Port management is in the process of constructing a dwarf wall at an estimated cost of Rs. 75 lakhs.

To mitigate the water shortage issues in residential and operational areas, the Port is in the process of establishing a one MLD desalination plant. The Rs.10 crore project, conceived with the future needs of Port and its employees in mind will put an end to the water shortage issues.

Adding a feather in the cap, V.O. Chidambaranar Port in April 2017 has been certified with OHSAS 18001:2007, which is an internationally recognized standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management systems. This certification reiterates the Port’s commitment to maintain the highest standards of Occupational Health and Safety by complying with all statutory requirements.

In the backdrop of community development being another important objective of Sagarmala programme, V.O. Chidambaranar Port has extended financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 146.62 lakh in 2016-17 under CSR programme for various projects such as construction of restroom for fishermen community, purchase of sullage lorries for Thoothukudi City Municipal Corporation and for cleaning of Manakudiyaan canal and providing pipeline in the canal in Suchindram Town Panchayat in Kanniyakumari district.

The Port Hospital, which is providing valuable healthcare to Port employees is also making rapid strides in adding facilities and services. In January 2017, a total knee transplantation was successfully performed at the Port Hospital and a new physiotherapy unit at Port Dispensary was dedicated for the benefit of employees and retirees in April 2017.

I appreciate the students of Port Schools for making us proud by scoring 100% pass percentage in 10th and 12th board examinations for the Page 8 of 9 second consecutive year. The number of students who have scored centum marks in subjects also increased in 2016-17 as about 11 students achieved this feat compared to 5 students in 2015-16. I congratulate all the teachers and associates who are committed to the all-round development of young minds and are striving hard to shape the future of India.

At this juncture, I call upon all the stakeholders, Officers and employees to help the Port reach greater heights. At V.O. Chidambaranar Port, we continuously endeavour to innovate in various areas by involving port users to further improve the efficiency and implementing strategies to take the customer satisfaction to new level. I am of the firm belief that together we will scale new summits.

On this significant occasion, I extend my heartfelt thanks to all the trade unions operating in the Port for their support in the Port development activities. I also thank the Heads of Departments, Officers and employees for their contribution over the years, which has made the Port one of the leading Port in South India. I appreciate the CISF personnel for providing excellent security for the Port premises and my thanks are due to them.

On behalf of everyone here, I congratulate the award winners and the contingent from CISF, Port Fire service, Maritime Training Institute cadets and Harbour School students for their smart turnout in the march past.

As we are celebrating this Independence Day, let us remember the golden words of Babasaheb Dr. BR Ambedkar and I quote: “So long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom is provided by the law is of no avail to you”

We will do justice to the supreme sacrifices made my freedom fighters and our forefathers and to all those who spent their entire lives behind the bars, only when we achieve social liberty. It is the continuous need of the hour to give back to the society for what the country has given to us.

On this day of great importance, which has given us an opportunity to remember all those freedom fighters who had sacrificed their lives just for giving us freedom and peaceful life, let us all take a resolve to fight the evils like communalism, casteism, corruption, terrorism, poverty and dirt and expel these problems. I sincerely thank this great country for giving me a chance to serve in this nation-building exercise.

Jai Hind!