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i-maritime Newsletter

Rice exports via Kakinada port gather momentum - 2011-11-07

Rice exports from Kakinada old port, languishing for the past few years without cargo, have gathered momentum and till the end of October, 3,91,485 tonnes of rice have been shipped to African and other countries, according to sources. Rice - mostly parboiled rice - is being exported and nine shipments have so far been despatched since September 24 and nine more are being loaded with rice. “Rice exports have been the mainstay of the old anchorage port at Kakinada and for the past few years, the old port has suffered badly due to the export ban. The lifting of export curbs has come as a great relief to the workers dependent on the port and the trade,” said the Chairman of the Cocanada Chamber of Commerce, Mr. D. Surya Rao. However, he said, there were some constraints hampering exports at the jetties, even though there were enough number of steel barges (89) to ferry the cargo to the ship. He said the problems had been taken to the notice of the State Government and the Government had sanctioned Rs. 50 lakhs to take up repairs at the jetties and also maintenance of dredging. In the long term also steps would be taken to address the problems, he added. He said the Principal Secretary, Mr S. Bhattacharya, had promised to take up the port-related issues. A port officer would also be posted soon. The port has been without an officer for two or three years. The local member of Parliament and the Union Minister of State for Defence, Mr M.M. Pallam Raju, had observed that there was no co-ordination between the port authorities and the Railways at a review meeting recently and instructed the railway authorities to take immediate steps to sort out the issues. Mr Surya Rao said the target for export of rice till February had been set at eight lakh tonnes. “We are hopeful and confident of achieving the target. We are sure the State Government and the Railways would be pro-active in dealing with port-related issues. The Chief Minister is very keen that rice exports from Kakinada should ease the glut situation in the domestic market and pave the way for expeditious procurement of the rabi crop and also better prices for the farmer,” Mr Surya Rao said.

Source: Hindu Business Line