Calcutta, Oct 31 (PTI) : Haldia Bulk Terminals, a cargo handling company promoted by ABG group of India and LDA of France, on Wednesday announced its immediate exit from West Bengal's Haldia port, citing unsafe work conditions.
Problems have been brewing at Haldia Dock Complex, which is run by Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) under the Union government, after berth operator HBT sacked 275 employees earlier in October, stating that they were surplus.
“With a deep sense of disappointment we have to inform you that we have been left with no option but to walk out from Haldia Dock Complex with immediate effect,” HBT CEO Gurdeep Malhi said in a statement.
The statement came a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters “kichhu hoyni” (nothing has happened) when she was asked about the strife at the port.
“The ever worsening situation at Haldia has left us feeling betrayed and we hope that the elements responsible for driving us out of Haldia are brought to justice,” he said.
Operations of HBT, which handles cargo with mechanised cranes in berth No 2 and No 8 at the Haldia Dock Complex, were stopped since mid-September.
Retrenched HBT workers along with trade union workers have been agitating inside and outside the port.
HBT on other hand had alleged on Sunday that three of its management officials and two of their family members were abducted by outsiders who warned them not to return to Haldia.
On Tuesday, the Chief Minister had said that full police protection was being provided at Haldia.
A few days ago, the KoPT had petitioned the Calcutta High Court to direct HBT to resume work since an agreement for a resolution to the impasse was already signed but HBT had not resumed work.
Earlier on Wednesday, counsel for HBT told the Calcutta High Court vacation bench of Justice Sambuddha Chakraborty that a letter was faxed to the port authorities informing them of its decision.