Dredgers stem in to solve Haldia crisis,hope floats in new channel

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Kolkata, Oct 24 (UNI) Altogether ten dredgers were reaching Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) by end of this year to tide over the present crisis, Kolkata Port Trust Chairman A K Chanda said today.

Interacting with the members of the Merchants' Chamber of Commerce (MCC) here, the KoPT Chairman said a new navigational channel to the west of the silted-up area had also been discovered and efforts were on to exploit it.

Mr Chanda said while five dredgers from Sethu Samudram would be made operational by tomorrow, the strength would reach seven by end of this month and the rest three would be available during November-December.

'' The Shipping Ministry has decided to divert dredgers from Sethu Samudram and other places and KoPT has been granted permission to charter the dredgers, '' he observed.

Referring to the achievements of the KoPT, Mr Chanda informed that it handled 57.3 million ton of traffic in 2007-08, creating an all-time record in the cargo handling, while Kolkata Port ranked third amongst all major ports in the country in terms of cargo handling.

Further, he said KoPT's net surplus increased to Rs 530 crore during the last fiscal as against Rs 465 crore in the previous year.

Mentioning about other projects, Mr Chanda said KoPT had decided to set up a third deep-drafted dock system at Diamond Harbour with five berths and a container terminal with an investment of Rs 500 crore.

'' Containerisation is a global trend and Diamond Harbour Dock is expected to attract at least eleven lakh TEUs, '' he maintained.

He also informed that KoPT had also planned to open two more container freight stations at Sonai and Paharpur.

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