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i-maritime News Service

Ministry working on transloading operations for Kolkata Port Trust - 2012-05-28


The Shipping Ministry is understood to have initiated a fresh move to resolve the impasse over the extension of jurisdiction of Kolkata Port Trust to facilitate transloading operation in the Bay of Bengal, also covering Kanika Sands, an island off the Odisha coast.

The Supreme Court has admitted the Special Leave Petition filed by the Shipping Ministry in this regard and a move is afoot to hold the hearing at the earliest, it is learnt. Kolkata Port Trust has been made a party to it. The Shipping Ministry is believed to be in touch with also the Union Law Ministry to expedite the case, it is further learnt.

It might be recalled that the Supreme Court had earlier refused to grant stay on the Orissa High Court order quashing the Shipping Ministry's decision to grant extension of the port limit of Kolkata Port Trust. The Odisha Government had vehemently opposed the Ministry's decision.

The recent spurt in activity to resolve the impasse follows the Shipping Ministry's decision to expedite the implementation of PPP (public private partnership) projects in various ports. The proposed transloading operation also covering Kanika Sands is one such project.

Meanwhile, Kolkata Port Trust has received at least four bids in response to the tenders floated for undertaking transloading operation. The construction and operation of a riverfront jetty at Haldia dock too is part of the job stipulated in the tender. The firms which have submitted bids include two consortia, one led by the Shipping Corporation of India and the other a Hyderabad-based Transtroy and two other firms, the Adani Group and Gammon, individually.

Inquiries reveal that Kolkata Port Trust is pinning a good deal of hope on the satisfactory resolution of the transloading issue for survival of Haldia dock which has not been doing too well lately due to various reasons. The drop in crude and iron traffic so far in the current fiscal has been a matter of concern. For example, so far this fiscal the crude throughput has been 1.5 lakh tonnes as compared to 5.8 lakh tonnes in the same period of last year and iron ore throughput 2.3 lakh tonnes ( nine lakh tonnes). IndianOil has drastically reduced the import of Rava crude through Haldia, it is learnt.

Source : Hindu Business Line