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Maritime News Service

Kochi port extends date for renewal of Willingdon Island land lease agreement - 2012-04-03

The Cochin Port Trust has extended time till December 31 for renewal of lease agreement or vacating the land occupied by lease holders in Willingdon Island.

The renewal shall, however, be subject to the satisfaction of port authorities that the land used are in conformity with the guidelines stipulated by the management. The guidelines insisted that the land available within the port limits be used primarily for port-related activities on priority basis. The renewal by negotiation of the existing leases would be only after verification by the port authorities and its satisfaction that the leased land is utilised for activities directly aiding throughput of the port prescribed under the minimum guaranteed throughput (MGT)/minimum guaranteed revenue (MGR).

The allotments of land for providing office space on sub-lease may be done through tender. This may benefit the port from the revenue fetched by the lessees in the form of the upfront premia in the tender. Meanwhile, the Cochin Port Leaseholders' Association has sought the intervention of the Chief Minister against the port's move.

The association said that it has been contributing substantially to the state and the region's economic development over the years. In its representation, the association pointed out that the port trust's move will only result in several companies going out of business besides seriously affecting the exports from this region. The representation also questions the changes to be made and the projections made for the growth of traffic in the port over the next 20-30 years.

The association requested the Chief Minister to take immediate steps to clear the air of the uncertainty that prevails among the business community today and to maintain the status quo.