As our stay continued in Visakhapatnam we decided to visit the port of this city. The Visakhapatnam port is one of the major ports of India and the only premier port of Andhra Pradesh. Out of the
13 major ports of India the second largest port with respect to the amount of cargo handled is the Visakhapatnam port. Located midway between the two major ports of Chennai and Kolkata on the
east coast of India, this port has been operational since 19th December 1933.
The volume of cargo shipped annually from this port is around 67.41 million tons and according to the stats of 2009-10 it generates revenue of Rs 660 crores on yearly basis. The proposal for
construction of this port was approved after the First World War. From 1927 to 1933 the Bengal Nagpur Railway undertook the task of constructing the Inner Harbor of this port in order to
facilitate the exports of mainly manganese ore from the Central provinces. After the construction of this port at a cost of Rs 378 lakhs it was inaugurated by Lord Willingdon.
The port was of great military significance during the Second World War. After the achievement of independence by India the various five year plans took into consideration the development of the
Visakhapatnam port. Over the years the port has grown significantly from handling 1.3 lakh tons of cargo with 3 berths to one handling an annual traffic of 65 million tons with as many as 24
berths. The Major Port Trusts Act of 1963 identified it as a major port and since then gave its charge to the Visakhapatnam Port Trust.
This port has three harbors. These are namely, the outer harbor, the fishing harbor and the inner harbor. The outer harbor comprises of 6 berths and can handle vessels with draft up to the limit
of 17 meters. The inner harbor is Panamax compatible and has a total of 18 berths. The natural protection offered by the Dolphin’s Nose hill is a distinctive feature of the port of Visakhapatnam
as it protects the harbor from cyclones that strike on the eastern coast.