Govt should focus attention on infrastructure in port: CCC

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Kakinada, Aug 14 (UNI) The Andhra Pradesh Government should focus its attention on improving infrastructural facilites at the old Kakinada anchorage port to attract the port users, a Cocanada chamber of commerce (CCC) spokesman said here today.

Talking to UNI, he said the Government should revive the erstwhile Port Advisory Committee to advise on evolving better marketing strategies involving the shipping trade. Otherwise both the old Port and new deep water port would be adversely affected and shippers might choose to divert their cargoes to other major ports.

Already bigger vessels, which require 12.5 metres draft, were moving to Visakhapatnam and Mundra ports for uptopping', as the deep water port is only 11.5 metres, he added.

''The Government should liasion between the departmentally-run anchorage port and the privatised deep water port to ensure that maximum number of vessels could be handled jointly, avoiding the waiting and consequent demurrages. The bigger ships with more than 12.5 metres draft can be conveniently moved to Deep water port after unloading part of the cargo at the anchorage. In case of loading also, the uptopping' can be done at the anchorage,'' V Raghu, a shipping agent, said.

Mr Raghu said the present shortcomings in the anchorage port such as shortage of steel barges, inadequacy in number of jetties and storage space could be set right by involving the shipping trade.

''We are ready to construct additional barges, godowns and jetties on BOT basis. Let the government come forward with a clear cut policy and take us into confidence,'' he added.

Pointing out that the anchorage port was able to handle four million tonnes of cargo during 2007-08, the higest ever in the history, he said it could be sustained, if the Government, through the port department, evolve better marketing strategies involving the shipping trade.

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