All Maharashtra jetties to handle cargo as well as passengers

In an attempt to revive its 2016 Port Policy the state cabinet on Tuesday approved a slew of concessions. The cabinet has allowed all the 48 Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) jetties to handle cargo as well as passenger traffic. Earlier the two were segregated. While 16 handle cargo, the others are for passenger traffic. These will now be allowed to do both. 


The MMB ports will be allowed to handle Roll On-Roll Off services, Tourism, Coastal Training and Research etc, said officials. Also, Multipurpose Jetties will now be called Coastal Berths. These will be allowed to export, import cargo. Captive jetties like the JSW port on the Dharamtar Creek will be allowed to handle domestic cargo. 


The state has 50 ports. The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust are the two largest ports. Recently the MbPT upgraded Sassoon Dock to receive international cruise ships. Officials said MMB too could similarly upgrade its ports either by leasing them out or through joint ventures. 


The cabinet also approved competitive bids and the selection of contractor for Waterfront activities through the Swiss Challenge Method. It is a process in which credible organisations/individuals can submit a bid to a public authority which then publicises it and offers an opportunity to better the proposal. If a third party offers a better proposal, then the original proposer is given an opportunity to accept it or better it or the contract is then awarded to the third party.