The first container ship as part of the coastal shipping inauguration arrived at Kollam port on Saturday after two months of delay. The ship named MV Suryamukhi contains cargo of vitrified tiles and sanitary equipment which are meant to be supplied in the southern districts of the state.
However, in what appears to be a major lapse in planning, Kollam port does not have a crane to transfer the cargo from the ship. The long-pending demand to have a crane for the port had fallen on deaf ears. In the absence of a crane, the officials now are seeking alternative ways to get the cargo transferred from the ship. “There is a crane in the ship which can be used for transferring cargo. But this crane has not been in use for months and we must test its efficiency. One cargo weighs over 32 tonnes and transferring these must be done using a proper crane. Otherwise major problems will occur,” said Ashwini Prathap, Port Officer. He said the delay in procuring the crane was due to the fluctuations in the international money market and some money transfer issues with a bank.
“We have now overcome these problems and we hope to get a crane by April,” he said.
He said the arrival of the ship was a major development.
“We need to develop Kollam as the mother port. We have the infrastructure but need to develop more to make the port a full-fledged one,” he said.