Friday, March 30, 2012

CHENNAI PORT: Trail of trucks as port’s Zero Gate crippled

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 30, 2012:
CHENNAI: Lack of manpower at Zero Gate of the Chennai Port, coupled with occasional flash strikes by trailer drivers, has hampered the smooth movement of containers in and out of the port for about a week now. 
The situation has worsened in the past few days due to a flash strike by drivers of trailer lorries following an altercation with a security official posted at the gate. Besides, fewer Customs officials posted to Zero Gate have also led to slowed down movement of containers from the port’s two container terminals.
According to Chennai Port Trust sources, movement of containers has recorded a sharp decline. However, prominent trailer owners’ associations have clarified to Express that they did not call for any trailers’ strike and it was the act of some drivers, possibly affected by the latest security measures at the gate. 
While 3,188 containers (20-foot equivalents), a mixture of export and import boxes, were moved on Tuesday till Wednesday morning, the figure came down sharply to just 1,769 containers the next day. 
Though the flash strike was withdrawn by Thursday afternoon, normalcy is yet to return as container trailers were seen stranded up to Manali on one stretch and also at Madhavaram.
Though the Zero Gate has six leaves—four for export and two for import containers, and ought to have six Customs officials to check movement, only two officials are posted at the gate by the Customs now.
“Due to less number of Customs officials at the gate, we are forced to halt our trailers in a queue and wait to get clearance. Had the Customs posted more officials here, it would certainly speed up the process,” rued a driver. Despite repeated attempts, the Custom’s commissioner was not available for comment.

No comments:

Post a Comment