Kolkata Port Trust on Sunday refuted the charges of cargo-handler Haldia Bulk Terminals (P) Ltd (HBT) of collapse of law and order situation at the Haldia dock complex.
With this denial, the KoPT appeared to be heading for a collision course with the ABG-LDA-led “contractor.”
On Friday, HBT had accused the West Bengal Government for failing to ensure minimum law and order at the “port and its surroundings,” after an alleged mob attack on HBT officials on September 28.
KoPT chairman, Manish Jain, told reporters here this evening that “barring some stray incidents, the authorities have not seen any major law and order problem at the Haldia dock complex”.
He, however, admitted that “an apprehension of conflict of interest” led to “complications” at Haldia in the past one month and caused a loss of 25,000 tonnes of cargo.
Attempting to play down the crisis, Jain said the KoPT would hold a meeting of the “stakeholders”, including exporters and importers, on October 3 to resolve the crisis. “We have made a draft solution. We will hold a stakeholders’ meeting on October 3 to discuss this draft and find a solution to this very complex problem,” the KoPT Chairman said.
He said HBT had sacked 275 workers on September 24 “without informing KoPT”. He indicated that this could have caused resentment among the locals.
The KoPT also denied that in the agreement between HBT and KoPT there were any clauses for providing either minimum or maximum “guaranteed tonnage” to the handler.
He said the KoPT was closely examining the “performance” of HBT in the light of their contractual obligation.