Expressing concern over the congestion at the country's leading container port of JNPT in Mumbai, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has asked the Government to intervene soon and solve the problem.

The congestion follows a decision to replace old cranes used at the port with new ones.

FIEO, in a statement on Friday, claimed that shipping liners are levying additional charges from shippers for discharge of cargo from the Mumbai port to avoid congestion. It also referred to instances of alleged diversion of cargo destined for northern India to Mundra at the expense of shippers.

Mr Ramu S. Deora, President, FIEO, said if the authorities concerned do not intervene soon, the problem may become a full-blown crisis.

Mr Deora said the quantum of surcharge levied by shipping lines vary as each of them have taken independent action to recover the additional costs from shippers to avoid allegations of collusion and to stay clear of scrutiny by the Competition Commission of India.

He said as such, the surcharges at the Mumbai port are unwarranted as crane replacement work was notified well in advance to the trade and shipping lines by the authorities.

(This article was published on August 12, 2011)
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