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High-level meet on port labour

New Delhi, Jan. 30: The chairmen of the 12 major port trusts will meet on Saturday in Chennai to discuss labour issues and purchase of new vessels for the various ports.

Shipping secretary M. P. Pinto will chair the meeting of the major trust chiefs. The meeting will also discuss a few new schemes for the Calcutta Port that includes projects worth Rs 175 crore. It will also take up Rs 60 crore projects in Haldia and Rs 230 crore projects at Paradip port.

The 12 major ports are Calcutta, Mumbai, Kandla, Haldia, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Ennore, Tuticorin, Cochin, Mangalore, New Mumbai and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.

Sources in the shipping ministry said, “The meeting will discuss issues like purchase of two jetties at Raichak for handling of liquid bulk cargo at an estimated cost Rs 30 crore and also to create facility for handling of LPG and other liquid bulk cargo.”

The meeting will also discuss labour-related problems that have been plaguing the Calcutta, Haldia, and Cochin ports. “The government is concerned about the continuing labour unrest in these ports. Although it has not created major problems yet, we do not want to go out of hand and would like to solve the demands of the labourers,” said sources. The meeting will also take up the new schemes at Visakhapatnam Port that includes development of Gangavaram Port Phase I through a joint venture for creating additional outlets at an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore. It includes development of coastal road, including under ground tunnel across inner channel and dolphin nose hill (BOT basis) at an estimated cost Rs 500 crore.

The ministry has proposed the construction of two berths for handling containers at Mumbai Port at an estimated cost Rs 405 crore if the work is executed on joint venture basis on debt equity participation of 1:1 basis at Mumbai Port. “This is an important proposal that will have to be taken up once the Mumbai Port decides on it,” sources said.

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