After a visit to the port, he said once dredging process was completed, the port owned by the Centre and managed by Visakhapatnam Port Trust, would become a world-class port.
“It is better placed and has facilities superior to a Greenfield port. I am sure it will get special allocation from the Centre for augmenting its facilities,” he told The Hindu.
Mr. Chandra said if the port had more draft facility it could attract bigger tankers like other major ports like Bombay, Madras and Kolkata. He said VPT should also get permission for going ahead with its plans to develop a satellite port near Bhimunipatnam.
He said as a member of NSB, he would try his level best for opening the office of Principal Maritime Officer here. This would enable conducting of examinations for issuing licences for maritime specialists to benefit aspirants from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and neighbouring areas instead going all the way to Mumbai.
He said efforts should also be made for promoting inland waterways as rail and air modes had turned expensive. The NSB had been trying to give thrust to promote inland waterways as most preferred mode of transport.
Having a word of praise for VPT Chairman Ajeya Kallam, he said he was a dedicated, committed and honest officer with a vision to develop Visakhapatnam Port into an international port.
Standardisation of tariff
Asked to comment on lack of level playing field for major ports due to tariff regulator while exempting minor ports to have any regulation, he said he was in favour of tariff standardisation. The NSB was in favour of reforms and no port should grow at the cost of another. He said there should be a scientific approach towards tariff without undercutting.
Mr. Chandra said the major port proposed by Ministry of Shipping in Andhra Pradesh was at nascent stage. A decision would be taken after completion of feasibility study.
He said NSB was vigorously pursuing anti-piracy policy. As national security was non-negotiable, they were trying to introduce security by CISF at minor ports on payment basis.