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SCI rapped for not using ICTT services

Published: 03rd June 2013 10:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd June 2013 10:57 AM   |  A+A-

At a time when the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT), Vallarpadam, is struggling for existence, Indian vessels belonging to the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) were sent for handling to Colombo. In a memorandum submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, leaders of the joint forum of trade unions have alleged that nearly 3,40,000 TEUs of Indian containers were sent to Colombo in 2012-13.

   “The SCI is still using Colombo as its transshipment hub,” TU leaders P M Mohammed Haneef and C D Nandakumar point out in the memorandum.The issue raised by the TUs gains significance in the backdrop of the fact that the ICTT, which has a capacity to handle one million TEUs containers, has not even attained half of its capacity even two years after commissioning.

“ICTT Vallarpadam was set up by the Union Government to provide transshipment services to containers originating in India. We fail to understand the logic behind the SCI’s decision to use Colombo for the purpose, bypassing ICTT and the concessions, privileges and world-class facilities available in Kochi. It is evident that a great amount of time and money could be saved if containers are sent via ICTT,” the memorandum said.

Commissioned in February 2011, the ICTT has so far been unable to handle cargo up to its capacity.

 This, coupled with maintenance and dredging cost, has put the Cochin Port Trust management in troubled waters. Expenditure  for dredging in 2012-13 touched `122.58 crore. Before commissioning of the ICTT, dredging expenditure came to around `35 crore.The leaders have also demanded that additional funds be given to Cochin Port Trust for carrying out the dredging work. “Being a natural port, Cochin Port requires dredging throughout the year,” they pointed out in the memorandum.

It is further demanded in the memorandum that the Dredging Corporation of India may be equipped and augmented with modern dredgers to cater to the huge dredging requirements  and to prevent the exploitation by multinational dredging companies in Indian dredging projects.



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