Chennai, April 25
The first consignment of five lakh tonnes of Australian wheat arrived at the Chennai port on Tuesday through the bulk carrier Furness Australia.
The ship carrying 50,855 tonnes of wheat docked at the port's West Quay in the afternoon, and would discharge the cargo in the next few days.
However, a depression is being formed in the Andaman Sea and is moving towards northern direction.
This could bring rain in the next few days, and temporarily stop discharge of the cargo. Flag signal number one was hoisted at the Chennai port, and if the signal reaches three, the vessel's hatches would be closed, according to Mr K. Suresh, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust.
The wheat, imported after a gap of seven years, will be repacked in 50 kg bags and sent to various public distribution centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
The port would receive a similar consignment next month. Besides Chennai, wheat is being imported through Tuticorin (a ship is on its way), Kochi, Visakhapatnam and New Mangalore ports, he told newspersons on board the vessel.
Chennai port in the last couple of days cleaned the West Quay berth. Three sheds on the wharf have been provided for dumping the cargo and repacking.
The wheat will be transported to various destinations through rail wagons, he said.