hardly any scope for developing as a transhipment terminal for many reasons, a
resolution passed at the 10th annual conference of the Federation noted.
Transport Workers Federation of India has urged the Shipping Ministry to step
back from the proposed deepening of the channel for ICTT Vallarpadam in Cochin
It is a proven
fact that Vallarpadam has hardly any scope for developing as a transhipment
terminal for many reasons, including its poor cargo hinterland, a resolution
passed at the 10 th annual conference of the Federation in Kolkata noted.
CD Nandakumar, the
newly elected president of the Federation, said that the DP World-operated ICTT project is still functioning as an ordinary
terminal, witnessing a slow growth in coastal cargo ever since its
establishment in 2011. The present
proposal to further deepen the channel will incur the port a huge expenditure
for maintenance dredging, as the present annual dredging cost was to the tune
of ₹140 crore.
proposal to add further financial burden is not affordable to the port, thereby
making its future uncertain. The absence of a minimum guarantee throughput
(MGT) provision in the ICTT License agreement has made things worse, he added.
also pointed out that the speedy implementation of several aggressive policies
in major ports would end up the ownership of the government in the port sector,
which is considered the lifeline and backbone of the country’s economy. It is
to be noted that 95 per cent of the country’s exim trade was handled by major
ports till 1991, and now it has been passed on to the private sector by
repealing the Major Port Trust Act 1963.
The resolution also cautioned
the government against the emergence of monopoly in port sector as its impact
would be worse in the long run.
The meeting also
appealed to the government to take urgent steps for the release of Indian
seafarers in MV Heroic Idun from the custody of the Nigerian Navy. It also
urged expedite action on bipartite wage negotiations and settle the bonus issue
of port and dock workers.