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Kakinada port tense over cargo row

Our Bureau

Kakinada , Sept. 17

TENSION gripped Kakinada port on Thursday and Friday as angry workers of the anchorage port blocked the port channel by anchoring over two dozen barges to prevent the entry of the ship, MV Yang, chartered for carrying iron ore to China.

The trouble started on Thursday morning when the workers resorted to the blocade, alleging that the deepwater port authorities were trying to divert traditional cargo reserved for the old port.

They contended that the ship should first call at the old port and 40 per cent of the ore should be loaded there first.

Earlier this year, when trouble arose over the alleged diversion of iron ore (traditional cargo, according to the old port workers) to the new deepwater port, the authorities intervened and a compromise formula was arrived at.

According to the formula, 40 per cent of the ore would first be loaded into the vessel at the old port and the rest at the new port.Again, the vessel would be brought back to the anchorage for uptopping operations.

During the past 5-6 months, the formula was adhered to and there was no problem. Eight shipments (1.5 lakh metric tonnes of ore) had been sent to China. However, due to some technical problem, the port authorities had imposed restrictions on loading iron ore at the old Burma Shell jetty and they had earmarked three new loading points in the new port area, to which the C&F agents objected.

The Chinese vessel arrived late on Wednesday night and the shippers wanted to touch the deepwater port first due to this problem, but the workers were insistent that the agreement be adhered to and the vessel first touch the old port.

More Stories on : Shipping | Trade & Labour Unions | Andhra Pradesh

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