Kakinada anchorage port facing congestion

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Kakinada, Jun 29 (UNI) The oldest Kakinada anchorage port in Andhra Pradeh is facing congestion with as many as 17 ships berthed and five more ships expected to touch the port within a couple of days.

Except one ship discharging imported murate of potash, all the other vessels were loading maize, rice and granite blocks for export. The reason for congestion was stated to be slowdown in loading with the curtailment of steel barges turnout rate following de-notifying of ten jetties, as against the total of 28 jetties by the Customs department, a couple of months back.

Shipment for quick movement of maize and rice meant for aid were being delayed at present due to low loading rate leading to heavy demurrages. 'Unless the de-notified jetties are made functional, the problem will remain unresolved. It is up to the government to take a decision. The Cocanada Chamber of Commerce has already represented the matter at various levels but without result,' said Arun Chapekar, a leading shipping agent.

He told UNI that shippers were forced to incur heavy expenditure due to paying of several lakhs of rupees daily towards demurrages for the delayed shipments.

Apart from congestion, the anchorage port was also facing a bleak future in view of the decision of the government to divert fertiliser imports to Deep water port much against the wishes of port workers and steel barge owners, President of the Steel Barges Owners Welfare Association B Ramamurthy.

Dr Ramamurthy said the fertiliser imports were the major source of revenue to the anchorage which provides succour to over 10,000 port workers.

UNI XR/AP ROY 1615

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