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Puducherry port awaits onset of cargo operations

Posted on June 21, 2023

The government has decided to commence the maintenance dredging of 2.5 lakh cubic metres of sand at Puducherry port to keep the port navigable. However, there is no word on the commencement of cargo operations from the port.

There have been great expectations on cargo shipment beginning from Puducherry, after a long gap of 18 years. The vessel — Global Logistics Solutions India’s M V Hope Seven — arrived at the port with around 40 containers on March 2. But, even after three months, the shipments are yet to take off. The vessel was moved away from the port in April citing certain repairs and has not returned yet.

Puducherry port was taken up for development under the Sagarmala project and was prepared for operations ever since cargo movement through the port (as a satellite port of Chennai) was finalised through a Memorandum of Understanding. But the vessel that arrived here was not fit for operations and had been undergoing maintenance.

After repairing the arm of the crane required to lift the containers, both engines of the vessel developed a snag at mid-sea during a trial run and had to be towed back to the port on April 6.

Jude Vallabhdas, the CEO of Global Logistics Solutions India Private Limited, had earlier told TNIE that the vessel will be repaired and run from April 15. However, the repair work was not successful and a few days later, the vessel was taken to Chennai. Since then, there has been no word on its arrival.

Port director Mohammed Mansoor told TNIE, “The condition of the vessel is poor as it has been used a lot. We expect them to come up with a better vessel.”

The government addressed the issues regarding electrical lines that blocked the container’s movement by trucks to and fro the port. The loading and unloading tussle between two fishermen groups was also resolved. While the State spends so much on the maintenance of the port, there is no sign of cargo movement yet. Exporters and importers from Puducherry and surrounding areas, however, remain expectant.

Several operators have shown interest in initiating operations. They want to handle bulk cargo for which they need land on lease. “At present the port has planned to handle only container cargo and we are expecting those operators only,” added Mansoor.


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