New Delhi:

Hit by disruptions caused by COVID-19, India's major ports continued to witness a fall in cargo handling, registering 18.06 percent dip to 193.38 million tonnes (MT) between April and July this fiscal, according to the Indian Ports Association (IPA).

Cargo volumes at these 12 major ports under the control of the Centre declined for the fourth straight month in July 2020 and all ports barring Mormugao saw a negative growth.

These 12 ports had together handled 236.01MT of cargo during April-July 2018-19, the ports body said.

Ports like Chennai, Cochin and Kamrajar saw their cargo volumes nosedive over 30 percent during April-July, while JNPT and Kolkata suffered a drop of over 20 percent.

India has 12 major ports under the control of the central government — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).

These ports handle about 61 percent of the country's total cargo traffic. These ports handled 705MT of cargo last fiscal.

While Chennai port saw 32.53 percent decline in cargo handling to 11.08MT, Kamarajar (Ennore) port suffered a drop of 35.64 percent to 7MT in April-July, as per IPA data.

Cochin Port saw a dip of 32.78 percent to 7.76MT during the period.

Cargo handling at JNPT port slipped 27.69 percent to 16.94MT, while the same at Kolkata declined 26.09 percent to 16.05MT. Mumbai port logged a fall of 19.79 percent to 15.85MT.

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, sharp declines were witnessed in handling of containers, coal and POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant) among other commodities.