KoPT gears up to fight Haldia draft woes

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Kolkata, Nov 05 (UNI) Altogether six dredgers, including the one joining the fleet from Sethu Samudram on Monday last, are currently deployed for combatting the draft problems in the navigational channel of Haldia.

Informing this to newspersons here today, Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) Director(Marine Department) A K Bagchi said the Cutter Suction Dregder-7 had been pressed into action during the day at Auckland Bar for intensifying operations to enhance the depth.

The Dredger-14, which was under repair at Vishakhapatnam, would join the fleet by November-end, Mr Bagchi said adding Dredger-5, Dredger-6, Dredger-9, Dredger-15 and Dredger-16 were presently carrying out dredging activities.

According to him, a team, including KoPT and Dredging Corporation of India(DCI) officials, would visit China in the mid-January for bringing two VMS Marine-made modern dredgers to boost dredging activity at Haldia.

'' Currently, the available draft at Haldia is around 6.8 metres.

Altogether 14 ships are working at Haldia Dock Complex(HDC) and about 78,000 tonnes cargo traffic was handled today, '' the director added.

'' If all the factors associated with port and shipping go favourable, it is expected that by the end of 2008-2009, the HDC will handle more than 44 million tonnes (mt) cargo traffic, '' Mr Bagchi said adding such figure stood at 43.588 mt during 2007-08.

KoPT Director (Planning and Research) S K Mondal said a land area of 2,793 sq metres had been provided to the DCI from KoPT's residential zone beside Haldi river on a lease of 11 months with renewal provisions, for setting up a landing jetty.

Meanwhile, the HDC has targetted to handle 30 mt rail-borne traffic by 2011-12 and it would procure three high-powered diesel locomotive by October next from Diesel Locomotive Works at Benaras, entailing a total investment of Rs 30.89 crore, Mr Mondal informed.

'' The incremental cargo would become 2.7 mt after the locomotives will be pressed into action, '' he said.

Currently, the HDC had altogether six diesel and five electric locomotives, he said adding the new entrants would include replacement of the two existing diesel engines.

Mr Mondal informed that HDC had handled 17.3 mt rail-borne traffic during the previous fiscal and such figure was expected to touch 18 mt during the current fiscal.

So far, the HDC had handled 25.568 mt of cargo between April and November as compared to 25.553 mt in the corresponding period previous year.

UNI SB ADG RN1926

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