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Court breather for Haldia berths

Calcutta, Sept. 7: Calcutta High Court today intervened in the spat between private port operator Haldia Bulk Terminal Ltd and Calcutta Port Trust (CPT) to keep two crucial berths at Haldia in operation.

Haldia Bulk Terminal Ltd (HBTL) — a joint venture between Mumbai-based port operator ABG and LDA of France — had threatened to suspend operations at the two berths from tomorrow alleging non-cooperation by the CPT.

The port had moved the high court today to stop the private operator from suspending operations. Justice Sanjib Banerjee did not pass any interim order but requested HBTL to continue work till September 12.

The court also requested the CPT to resolve the dispute through discussion though the matter would be heard from September 10.

“The CPT’s move to get a stay on our suspension is testimony to our performance and commitment to the project. Hence it will be paradoxical if they do not look at expediting the resolution of the issues, which are simple administrative decisions and help us curb the huge losses we are suffering on a daily basis,” Gurpreet Malhi, chief executive officer of ABG-LDA Bulk Handling Pvt Ltd, said.

He said the Calcutta Port Trust in the petition admitted that HBTL’s operation was crucial to the survival of Haldia Dock Complex and end users.

“In this backdrop, we fail to understand what is preventing the CPT from allocating 9 million tonnes per annum to us,” he said.

 
 
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