Wednesday, February 27, 2013

3 Per Cent Growth in Traffic handled by Ports during 2011-12: Economic Survey

Source: www.pib.nic.in


-Non Major Ports Grow by 11.5 Per Cent

PIC SOURCE: http://www.shippinginternational.com
The total traffic handled by all ports in the country grew by 3 percent in 2011-12 over the previous year, latest Economic Survey tabled in the Parliament on Feb 27 has revealed.
The growth, according to the report, stood at 911.7 million tons. 11.5 percent growth achieved by non-major ports contributed to the overall traffic growth, although there was a decline in traffic handled at major ports.
The traffic handled by all ports grew by 1.8 percent in the first half of 2012-13 (April – September) over the corresponding period of the previous year. The share of the non-major ports in this growth was 10.3 percent.
The three port related performance indicators i.e. average turnaround time (in days), average pre-berthing detention time (in days) and average output per ship – berth – day (in tons) have shown improvement in 2011-12 and April-September, 2012 over corresponding previous period. The average output per ship-berth-day improved to 13,374 tons for all major ports during April-September, 2012-13 compared to 12,825 tons in corresponding period of 2011-12.
The average turnaround time at major Indian ports improved to 4.15 days in 2012-13 (April-September) as against 5.29 (2010-11) and 5.05 (2011-12).
The average pre berthing detention time (PBDT) for all major ports declined from 2.32 days in 2010-11 to 2.04 in 2011-12. According to the Economic Survey, this could be a result of the lower volumes handled by ports due to the global turn down.
Eom.Saravanan

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sri Lankan Army denies rape allegations


Source: http://colombogazette.com/army-denies-rape-allegations/

The Sri Lanka army has strongly denied allegations of raping members or supporters of the LTTE, as claimed by Human Rights Watch in a new report released today.
Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the report is baseless and is yet another “creation” of the human rights group targeting the ongoing UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.
We reject these allegations. The Sri Lankan security forces do not condone rape or torture of detainees. We have even charged some soldiers against who evidence of rape had been presented in the past. There is no point making allegations without evidence,” the army spokesman told the Colombo Gazette.
Human Rights Watch said in a 141-page report titled “‘We Will Teach You a Lesson’: Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces” that the Sri Lankan security forces have been using rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture suspected members or supporters of the LTTE.
While widespread rape in custody occurred during the armed conflict that ended in May 2009, Human Rights Watch found that politically motivated sexual violence by the military and police continues to the present.
The report provides detailed accounts of 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse that occurred from 2006-2012 in both official and secret detention centers throughout Sri Lanka.
In the cases documented by Human Rights Watch, men and women reported being raped on multiple days, often by several people, with the army, police, and pro-government paramilitary groups frequently participating.
“The Sri Lankan security forces have committed untold numbers of rapes of Tamil men and women in custody,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “These are not just wartime atrocities but continue to the present, putting every Tamil man and woman arrested for suspected LTTE involvement at serious risk.”
Most of the rape victims spoke to Human Rights Watch outside of Sri Lanka, and corroborated their accounts with medical and legal reports.
“We have a strong law and order system in the country. If there is evidence for such allegations then it should be reported to the police and investigations will be carried out,” the army spokesman said.
Human Rights Watch said that the cases suggest that the use of sexual violence was not just a local occurrence or actions of rogue security force personnel, but a widespread practice that was known or should have been known by higher-level officials.
“The government’s response to allegations of sexual violence by its security forces have been dismissive, deeming them as ‘fake’ or ‘pro-LTTE propaganda,’” Adams said. “It’s not clear who in the government knew about these horrific crimes. But the government’s failure to take action against these ongoing abuses is further evidence of the need for an international investigation.”
Report by Easwaran Rutnam

Sri Lanka security forces rape, torture Tamil detainees: group


NEW DELHI | Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:36am EST
(Reuters) - Sri Lanka's security forces have used rape to torture and extract confessions from suspected Tamil separatists almost four years after the country's civil war ended, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Tuesday.
The rights group documented 75 cases of predominately Tamil men and women who said they were held in Sri Lankan detention centres and repeatedly raped and sexually abused by the military, police and intelligence officials.
The victims - now living as asylum seekers, most of them in Britain - said once they confessed to being a member of the Tamil Tiger rebel group, the abuse generally stopped and they were allowed to escape by paying a bribe, before fleeing abroad.
"We found that rape was used to secure some sort of confession, but also as a political tool to punish people," Meenakshi Ganguly, the rights group's South Asia director, told a news conference in New Delhi.
"These were people who had some connection with the Tigers ... who were forced to sign confessions, and only then would the rapes stop."
Ganguly said sexual abuse was only one form of torture that the people suffered: "They were also severely tortured, burnt by cigarettes and hung upside down."
Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to New Delhi said he had no evidence to suggest the allegations of abuse, which the rights group said occurred from 2006 to 2012, were true.
The ambassador, Prasad Kariyawasam, said the testimonies of 41 women, 31 men and 3 boys were likely made by "economic refugees" who "need a good story" to get asylum.
"Until we do a proper inquiry, we have to believe that these are all sob stories for the sake of obtaining asylum or refugee status in a developed country," Kariyawasam told Reuters.
"Until there is a proper examination ... in the Sri Lankan court system, we will not be able to accept these allegations."
He said the report was "a well-timed effort" to discredit Sri Lanka ahead of a vote on a U.S.-backed resolution criticizing it at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva this week.
CIGARETTE BURNS, BITE MARKS
Tens of thousands of civilians were killed in 2009, in the final months of a war that began in 1983, a U.N. panel said, as government troops advanced on the last stronghold of the rebels fighting for an independent homeland.
The U.N. panel said it had "credible allegations" that Sri Lankan troops and the Tamil Tigers both carried out atrocities and war crimes, and singled out the government for most of the responsibility for the deaths.
Sri Lanka has come under international pressure to bring to book those accused of war crimes and boost efforts to reconcile a polarised country.
It has rejected allegations of rights abuse and resisted pressure to allow an independent commission to investigate war crimes committed by its army, saying that it is has its own plan to deal with the issue.
But Human Rights Watch said, despite the end of the war, no one had been prosecuted and human rights violations of Tamil Tiger supporters continued. Thirty-one cases of rape and torture in the report had been documented since 2009.
"Many of the medical reports examined by HRW show evidence of sexual violence such as bites on the buttocks and breasts, and cigarette burns on sensitive areas like inner thighs and breasts," the group said.
At the Geneva meeting, the United States is expected to sponsor a resolution for the second time censuring Colombo and urging it to prosecute soldiers suspected of killing civilians.
Britain, Canada and the European Union, where there is a large presence of Tamil refugees and asylum seekers, are expected to support the resolution.
But Kariyawasam said the New York-based rights group was working with the Washington to "bring Sri Lanka down".
"Sri Lanka is not a very big country. We cannot fight with the most powerful country in the world and their NGOs (non-governmental organizations) who have a large amount of funds, but we still have the right to say what we want to say."
(Editing by John Chalmers and Robert Birsel)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Special attention for Maritime Education and Training (MET) at World Shipping Forum ’13


Source:www.sagarsandesh.com

As anticipated by the organisers of World Shipping Forum-2013, the panel discussion on “Maritime Education & Training – An outlook towards the future,” drew good response and gave birth to several suggestions for improvement.
Though ideas like completely delinking MET from the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) and setting up a different and dedicated governing body for it and viability of Commercially Trading Training Ship for cadets’ onboard training raised eyebrows of many present over there, such suggestions have rekindled the hope that they are indeed at a critical juncture from where treading needs more cautiousness.
Capt. S. Bhardwaj, Emeritus Professor & former Vice- Chancellor, AMET University, set the ball rolling for the allimportant panel discussion by outlining the need for such open debate on MET.
Initiating the discussion, Mr. Gautam Chatterjee, Director General of Shipping, said: “We need a proper estimation of global demand for seafarers. I will call upon professional bodies of master mariners and marine engineers to play a proactive role in policy combinations while maintaining a data base of resource personnel for maritime training. And also help me arrive at proper information about maritime education.”
After pondering over different points for the improvement of maritime education and training put forward by numerous speakers, jury for the panel discussion came out with their observation on the whole proceedings.
Taking note of the observation that more thrust should be given to training rather than maritime education, Dr. G. Raghuram, Vice-Chancellor of Indian Maritime University, and one of the jury for the discussion, said: “I am very clear that we have to think of education, because education is the key and that is our moral responsibility.”
He also added that there should be more scope for research for the faculties in maritime education, so that students can get opportunities to know the latest updates in the sector.
Driving home the message at the panel discussion, Dr. R. Lakshmipathy, President of RL Institute of Nautical Sciences (RLINS), Madurai, and one of the jury for the lively debate, strongly suggested that the entire system of education and training should be taken out of the purview of the Directorate General of Shipping, which is controlling the maritime education along with other important responsibilities concerning shipping.
Dr. Lakshmipathy stated: “Maritime education and training is one among the 10 primary responsibilities for the Directorate General of Shipping and going by the pre-occupation, DGS can spend only about 10 per cent of its time for improving it. In 1997, when private players were allowed to set up maritime training institutions, there were only four institutes. But there are nearly 140 institutes now and sparing only 10 per cent time means the DGS can only do a policing job (on them) and not any constructive job to improve quality of education could be carried out.
Hence, he pointed out, there is a pressing need for a separate Directorate for maritime education and training to improve quality standards of maritime education.”
He added: “We need technocrats to head the Directorate at the national level to man the entire system like the Directorate of Technical Education. Continuous monitoring can be achieved by a dedicated team of authorities whose 100 per cent concentration will be available on day-to-day basis for the cause of maritime education and training.”
“The second important point for improving competency in maritime education is to introduce latest technology and developments into the syllabus. It was designed some 14 years ago and we are still following it. The syllabus must be defined to meet the industry need and revised periodically to bring it on par with international scenario,” he opined.
Recording his views at the panel discussion as one of the jury, Mr. J. Ramachandran, Chairman, AMET University, noted: “I would like to focus on sea-time, which is a very grave issue now. I request the forum to form a committee of top maritime bodies and institutions to immediately look into the seatime issue. I have got three proposals for solving the sea-time problem. Already we have ships running between Andaman and mainland (Chennai, Kolkatta and Vizag). Since these ships have more than 1000 berths (I each ship), about 200 berths can be converted and they can be given to cadets for sea-time training,” Mr. Ramachandran felt.
Dr. (Mrs.) Sujata Naik Tolani, Vice Chairperson, Tolani Maritime Institute Governing Council, and one of the jury, observed that there is a disconnect about maritime education and onboard jobs with the latest generation. She also urged the maritime educationists to introspect on what has gone wrong in inculcating best maritime education to the cadets.
At the end, organisers assured the participants of the panel discussion that all of their observations  ould be recorded into a document and pursued with the Government authorities for early solution.
More than 200 delegates, including from abroad, attended the discussion and hailed it as a step in the right direction.

Minister Vasan traces Sagar Sandesh feats

Source: www.sagarsandesh.com


Mr. S. Natarajan, Chairman (I/C) , VOC Port Trust, Tuticorin, Mr. Atulya Misra, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust, Dr. R. Lakshmipathy, Editor & Publisher, Sagar Sandesh, Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan, Mr. L. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, JNPT, Mumbai, and Mr. M. A. Bhaskarachar, CMD, Ennore Port Limited (EPL), displaying the First Anniversary issue of Sagar Sandesh in Chennai on Feb. 8


--Minister also launched an exclusive online portal (www.porttoport.in), a dedicated web service for exporters and importers
-Port Chairmen steal show @ 1st anniversary

Sagar Sandesh Maritime tabloid English Weekly Newspaper, the undisputed ‘Voice of Indian Shipping,’ celebrated its First Anniversary on Feb. 8 in Chennai.
Union Minister of Shipping G K Vasan, who launched Sagar Sandesh exactly one year ago in Mumbai, was the Chief Guest at the glittering ceremony to release the anniversary special issue in the presence of Dr. R. Lakshmipathy, the Publisher and Editor of Sagar Sandesh; Mr. L. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, JNPT, Mumbai; Mr. Atulya Misra, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust; Mr. M. A. Bhaskarachar, CMD, Ennore Port Limited (EPL); Mr. S Natarajan, Chairman (in-charge) of V O Chidambaranar Port Trust, Tuticorin and
Dr. R. Krishnamurthy, Printer of Sagar Sandesh.
On the occasion, the Minister also launched an exclusive online portal (www.porttoport.in), a dedicated web service for exporters and importers from the house of Sagar Sandesh on daily vessel movement and updates in Indian ports.
Port to Port is an open database of ships sailing schedules all over India that provides the EXIM fraternity with a realtime view of the forward sailing schedules, from national overview to single port.
Mr. Vasan commented: “I compliment the Publisher Dr. Lakshmipathy and his dedicated team on the completion of one year of its publication and wish them good luck for years ahead.”
Outlining the importance of newspaper and media, the Minister said: “Print and electronic media plays a critical role in bringing the focus on public issues and highlighting the various steps taken by the Government for the development and welfare of people.
He noted: “The objective of Sagar Sandesh, which was launched last year, is indeed laudable. Its aim is to address the problems faced by various stakeholders in the maritime sector and draw attention to the Government for the policy issues that help in resolving those problems.”
Sagar Sandesh has been playing the role of connecting to the Ministry of Shipping, the Directorate  General of Shipping and various other Government agencies like the port trusts with the industry, agents, port users and academia, the Minister observed.
As a guide to shipping industry, Sagar Sandesh and its online version endeavoured to cover wide range of subjects like shipping, ports, logistics, seafaring and entire gamut of maritime sector leaving no aspect untouched, the Minister remarked.
Speaking about the importance of communication, Mr. Vasan pointed out: “With the advent of information and communication technology, the world has shrunk into a global village where voice, video and data are transmitted at an unimaginable pace. Internet is a powerful tool which can be used for communicating information throughout the world in a matter of second or even less.”
Having successfully established Sagar Sandesh and its online edition, Dr Lakshmipathy and his team are now venturing into web-based services with the launch of exclusive online portal on daily vessel movement and updates in Indian ports, the Minister said.
The website www.porttoport.in, I am sure that it would definitely serve the professionals engaged in maritime sector in India and across the world in the quest for instant access to emerging developments,” he added.
Encouraged over the presence of heavyweights of EXIM trade at the anniversary celebrations, Mr. Vasan stated: “Today, we have with us wide representations of container terminal operators, freight forwarders, container freight stations (CFSs), steamer agents and also from the Railways. It shows the keen interest the launch of the website has evinced among various stakeholders.”
“I feel it is appropriate that the Chairmen of four major ports have chosen to present here at the launch of this website, which is another vehicle for information dissemination,” the Minister quipped.
Patting the maritime weekly from his heart, the Minister declared: “You would agree with me that Sagar Sandesh has stepped in to fill a void in the maritime sector. I am sure that in future Sagar Sandesh will not only bring mariners and logistics managers together but also bring more awareness about the role and contribution of maritime sector to the common people of the country.”
Earlier, Dr. R. Lakshmipathy welcomed the gathering.
Besides others, Mr. Ennarasu Karunesan, CEO & Director, DP World, Chennai; Mr. A.V. Vijayakumar, Vice- President of the Federation of Freight Forwarders' Associations in India (FFFAI); Mr. Arul A Joseph, Vice-Chairman of FEDSAI; Mr. N. Sreekumar, IRTS, Chief General Manager, CONCOR/ Southern
Region; Mr. M. S. Arun, Chairman, NACFS–Chennai Chapter, and Mr. M. Subramanian, Principal, RL Institute of Nautical Sciences, Madurai, offered their felicitations.
Mr. R. Mohan Kanaga Kumar, Executive Editor of Sagar Sandesh, proposed a vote of thanks.

Information revolution

Mr. L. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, JNPT, Mumbai : It gives me great pleasure for being part of the  information revolution that has been happening led by Dr. R. Lakshimpathy, who is a wellknown person in the media circles and also in the field of maritime education. I congratulate Sagar Sandesh for the latest initiative that gives much more information at the fingertips of professionals related to EXIM trade.
Union Shipping Minister G. K. Vasan has envisaged Maritime Agenda 2020 in which he proposes to triple the capacity of Indian ports from one billion metric tonnes to three billion MTs. JNPT, which is the largest solid cargo port in India, is also moving in the direction as envisaged by the Minister to increase handling of more and more cargo to meet the Maritime Agenda goals well before the target.
Since we are much more congested than most of the ports in the country, we are working over 150 per cent of our capacity and our own terminal, which we operate without Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, has found an increase in productivity of 19.75 per cent in 2011 and last year, it was 23.5 per cent jump.
Despite this tremendous growth, we are unable to cater to the demand. So, we have lined up several projects worth more than Rs. 55,000 crores in the coming years.

Great occasion
Mr. Atulya Misra, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust : I am extremely thankful to Dr. R. Lakshmipathy for organizing this gathering in which leaders of EXIM fraternity are assembled in one hall. And this is a great occasion for us. There were some lacunae we have. We had a problem of information.
Under the leadership of Minister Vasan, port connectivity system has been developed. It was providing a forum for ports to talk to each other. However, the ports were not yet being synchronized and were not having a kind of interface with the shipping. Whatever we were doing, we were doing it in our isolation and berthing meetings. I would once again congratulate all of you for having coming here for being a part of a major development in the maritime sector.
Today, this weekly newspaper Sagar Sandesh has become the most important source of information to each one of us.

Dream come true
Mr. M. A. Bhaskarachar, CMD, Ennore Port Limited (EPL) : Sagar Sandesh in one of the constituents to our efforts to make our Minister’s dream come true. The weekly has been very helpful for  understanding and knowing the latest developments in the sector to stay up-to date.
Certainly, the website www.porttoport.in is going to help not only the port users and vessel agents, but also the ports. Earlier, we used to struggle with updating and all. Now, port can relax that we have an alternate site available all the time.
It is definitely going to help all of us. Ennore Port has a lot of potential and we are working hard to  achieve our target.

Boon for EXIM trade
Mr. S. Natarajan, Chairman (I/C), VOC Port Trust, Tuticorin : Under the leadership of most dynamic Minister of Shipping, capacity augmentation of major ports is in full gear and many projects have already been awarded by many ports and getting ready to handle cargoes in a year’s time.
In VOC Port Trust, we have already awarded four PPP projects and it is in the final stages of finalizing three more PPP projects.
Sagar Sandesh, the weekly newspaper, is containing very well and up-to date information about the  shipping sector. By launching the dedicated website it has added a feather in the logistics service providers in the country.
I am confident that the website will provide a real-time ship schedules featuring each and every important details to the maritime fraternity. I hope that the website would become an important tool for business promotion among the EXIM traders.

45 million logistics players linked
Mr. Ennarasu Karunesan, CEO & Director, DP World, Chennai : Creating 1.3 billion tonnes and that too within a span of 3.5 years, where we were always in shortage. But today, we are in excess in terms of ports and shipping, and it is mainly due to the efforts of Union Shipping Minister G. K. Vasan.
Today, I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that our Minister is seen as the beacon of hope for the whole EXIM fraternity in the country. Quite a lot of achievements are done in the past 3.5 years by the Shipping Ministry and Indian EXIM trade owes it to you sir.
By the initiative of Dr. R. Lakshmipathy in the form of a dedicated website www.porttoport.in , Sagar Sandesh has connected about 45 million logistics players in the country. I congratulate Sagar Sandesh and its team for this wonderful effort.

Hats off to RLP
Mr. A. V. Vijayakumar, Vice-Chairman, FFFAI : Sagar Sandesh in one year young and is stepping into the next year. A new child www.porttoport.in portal is born today. The one year has been an eventful year and I congratulate Dr. R. Lakshmipathy for his pioneering efforts in launching and sustaining a publication industry.
The Shipping Industry in India is very fragmented and faces formidable challenges to access relevant information in a readily and an easily understandable format.
Sagar Sandesh has effectively addressed the much-needed industry requirement. There is a great gap  between informing and educating. Sagar Sandesh has successfully educated the shipping fraternity in an understandable manner.
The presence of the Union Shipping Minister, Mr. Vasan, is an acknowledgement of the service rendered by Sagar Sandesh to our industry. We all know that the Minister is a keen observer of even a minor development in the Shipping Industry and his enthusiasm and vision to make the Indian shipping industry a world-class professional body of reputation is indeed laudable.
His august presence to inaugurate the dedicated website www.porttoport.in is a sign of his keen interest to all matters affecting shipping fraternity and encourage every one of us to emulate his efforts to improve this industry.

Birth in TN hailed
Mr. Arul A Joseph, Vice-Chairman, FEDSAI : This is a wonderful occasion and we have every reason to celebrate this occasion. After seeing more than 52 issues of Sagar Sandesh, I am definite, confident and sure that this paper is a long-awaited one in the industry and trade for all the qualities that an industry like shipping wants.
Sagar Sandesh is a newspaper, wonderfully edited with wide coverage of 16 pages every week covers domestic, national and international shipping scenario so clearly, so summarizing and so informative.
We should be really proud because this type of newspaper, which was long awaited, has evolved from our own state Tamil Nadu.

Global coverage
Mr. N. Sreekumar, CGM, CONCOR, SR : Sagar Sandesh doesn’t look like a one-year old paper. It looks like a well-established, well-planned and well-furnished journal that comes to you on a weekly basis.
It gives a regional flavour, like what you look for your place is there. Then you look for Government policies, its implications, what to hope for, what has come, what is likely to come, everything is covered.
Then, comes the international coverage. We would like to know what is happening in the shipping sector around the world. And, that is also well covered. In addition, there is something more in Sagar  Sandesh for everybody.

It’s unique
Mr. M.S. Arun, Chairman, NACFS, Chennai : In an era where there is a flood of relevant and irrelevant information and news, Sagar Sandesh chose to be different. It concentrates on maritime news, which is a critical area in today’s world with key focus on logistics.
Sagar Sandesh, being a local publication has given prominence to news from in and around Chennai  without diluting or leaving out (news) from other parts of India and around the world.
Weekly vessel schedule is a very important information for the industry including importers, exporters, Custom House Agents, CFSs and all others. This information will help the trade make a choice on connecting vessel without missing deadlines.

Dedicated newspaper
Mr. M. Subramanian, Principal, RLINS : Though there are so many maritime magazines in circulation, only Sagar Sandesh has dedicated itself for the various activities of the shipping industry and mainly on the issues facing the maritime training institutes. Sagar Sandesh has been projecting problems and difficulties faced by the maritime training institutes without any fear or favour.
It is nothing new for the Publisher of Sagar Sandesh, Dr. R. Lakshmipathy, as he has been doing the same or the various national issues through his national Tamil daily Dinamalar as its Publisher. As he has no axe to grind, he has been always bold enough to bring out the problems faced by the industry and the maritime training institutes in particular. Dr. Lakshmipathy has been constantly bringing out innovative ideas in all activities he is involved in. One such thing is the Port to Port website and the weekly ship schedule. I am sure the business community in the shipping industry will find this a boon to their business.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Handed A Snack, And Then Executed: The 12-Year-Old Balachandran Son Of Parabhakaran


Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/handed-a-snack-and-then-executed-the-last-hours-of-the-12yearold-son-of-a-tamil-tiger-8500295.html

New photographs have emerged which raise fresh questions about the conduct of Sri Lanka’s armed forces during the final stages of the operation against Tamil rebels and have led to claims the 12-year-old son of the militants’ leader may have been summarily executed.



A series of photographs taken a few hours apart and on the same camera, show Balachandran Prabhakaran, son of Villupillai Prabhakaran, head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). One of them shows the boy sitting in a bunker, alive and unharmed, apparently in the custody of Sri Lankan troops. Another, a few hours later, shows the boy’s body lying on the ground, his chest pierced by bullets.
The images were taken in May 2009 at the very end of the Sri Lankan government’s operation to crush the LTTE, which had launched a bloody, decades-long insurgency against the state that led to the deaths of perhaps 70,000 people. The authorities always said Prabhakaran’s son was killed in cross-fire, as troops moved in to take the LTTE’s last stronghold, located on a scrap of coastline near Mullaitivu in the north-east of the country.
But the images, contained in a new documentary, No Fire Zone, which will be screened at the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival during the UN Human Rights Council meeting in March, suggest the boy was captured alive and killed at a later stage.
A forensic pathologist who examined the later images for the film-makers, said the boy was shot five times in the chest. Furthermore, propellant burns around the wound suggest he was shot at very close range.
“The new photographs are enormously important evidentially because they appear to rule out any suggestion that Balachandran was killed in cross-fire or during a battle. They show he was held, and even given a snack, before being taken and executed in cold blood,” claimed the film’s director, Callum Macrae.
“It is difficult to imagine the psychology of an army in which the calculated execution of a child can be allowed with apparent impunity. That these events were also photographed and kept as war trophies by the perpetrators is even more disturbing.” The 12-year-old’s father, Prabhakaran, was killed along with most of the senior leadership of the LTTE as Sri Lanka’s army advanced on the rebels’ position. There were reports at the time that several LTTE officials were shot and killed as they tried to surrender.
Prabhakaran’s body was displayed on state television, part of the front of his skull missing, also suggesting he may have been shot at close range. The Sri Lankan authorities have always denied shooting anyone who was trying to surrender. Last night, Brigadier PR Wanigasooriya, an army spokesman, said Sri Lanka had been a repeated victim of  “lies, half truths, rumours, and numerous forms of speculations”.
“No substantive evidence have been presented for us to launch an investigation,” he added, referring to alleged human rights abuses.
Sri Lanka has always insisted it did what it could to ensure no civilians were killed during its operation against the LTTE. Yet a team appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon found that up to 40,000 civilians may have been killed. The team said there were credible allegations both sides committed war crimes.
The photographs will place additional pressure on David Cameron to announce whether or not he will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM), e in Sri Lanka in November. A Downing Street official with Mr Cameron on his visit to India said on Monday that no decision had yet been taken.
NGOs and organisations, among them the cross-party Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, have called on him to boycott the meeting.
__________________________________________________________________
முள்ளிவாய்க்காலின் இறுதிநேரக் கொடூரக் காட்சிகளை நாம் கண்டு அதிர்ந்துள்ளோம். ஆனால் இப்போது கிடைத்திருப்பவை இதயத்தை ஒருகணம் நிறுத்தி வைக்கக் கூடிய அதி கொடூரங்கள் நிறைந்த காட்சிகள் என The Independent Handed a snack, and then executed: the 12-year-old Balachandran son of Parabhakaran பத்திரிகையில் வெளிவந்துள்ளது.
ஒரு சந்தைப் பகுதியில் தொலைந்து போன சிறு குழந்தை போல் ஒரு மூலையில் அந்தச் சிறுவன் இருத்தி வைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளான். அவனுக்கு ஏதோ சிற்றுண்டி கொறிக்க வழங்கப்பட்டிருக்கின்றது. அவன் நிமிர்ந்து பார்க்கிறான். யாராவது தெரிந்த முகங்கள் தென்படாதா என்ற ஓர் ஏக்கம் அவன் விழிகளில்.
அந்தச் சிறுவன் தமிழீழ விடுதலைப்புலிகளின் தலைவர் வேலுப்பிள்ளை பிரபாகரன் அவர்களின் புதல்வன் பாலச்சந்திரன். 12 வயதுடைய சிறுவன். புதிய ஆதாரப் புகைப்படங்கள் ஒரு நெஞ்சை உருக்கும் கதையைச் சொல்கின்றது.
இந்தச் சிறுவன் போரிலோ அல்லது குறுக்குச் சூடுகளிலோ கொல்லப்படவில்லை. சிறீலங்கா இராணுவத்தால் பிடிக்கப்பட்டுப் பதுங்கு குழியினுள் சிலமணி நேரங்கள் இராணுவக் காவலுடன் வைத்திருக்கப்பட்டு அதன் பின்னர் கொடூரமாகச் சுட்டுக் கொல்லப்பட்டுள்ளார். அதன் பின்னர் மீண்டும் இவரது உடலம் புகைப்படம் எடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.
கடந்த வருடம் கிடைக்கப்பெற்ற போரின் பின்னரான கொடூரப் படுகொலைகள் பற்றிய காணொளியில் பாலச்சந்திரனின் உடலம் காட்டப்படது. ஆனால் இப்போது சிறீலங்கா இராணுவத்தினர் தமது வெற்றியின் கொண்டாட்ட விருதாக இந்தச் சிறுவனைச் சுட்டுக் கொண்டிருப்பது கண்கூடாக நிரூபணம் ஆகியுள்ளது.
இப்பொழுது கிடைத்திருக்கும் ஆதாரங்கள் பாலச்சந்திரன் உயிருடன் பிடிக்கப்பட்டுப் பின்னர் படுகொலை செய்யப்பட்டிருப்பது சந்தேகங்கள் எதுவுமின்றி நிரூபிக்கின்றது. இது மிகவும் இராணுவத்தினரின் விருப்பத்தின் பேரில் இராணுவத்தாலே அல்லது அவர்களுடன் இணைந்து படுகொலைகள் புரியும் துணைக் குழுக்களாலோ மிகவும் திட்டமிட்டு நடாத்தப்பட்ட படுகொலையாகும். அதுவும் ஒரு சிறுவன் மீது.
கிடைக்கப்பட்ட நான்கு டிஜிட்டல் படங்களும் ஒரேநாள் ஒரே புகைப்படக் கருவி மூலம் எடுக்பட்டிருப்பதை புகைப்பட ஆதாரங்களை அராய்ந்தறியும் நிபுணர்கள் உறுதி செய்துள்ளனர். இதில் இரண்டு படங்கள் பாலச்சந்திரன் உயிருடன் இருப்பதையும் இரண்டு படங்கள் அவர் கொல்லப்பட்டிருப்பதையும் பதிவு செய்துள்ளது.
கடந்த வருடம் கிடைக்கப் பெற்ற காணொளித் தடயங்களும் இந்தப் படங்களையும் ஆராய்ந்த புகழ் பெற்ற தடயவியல் நிபுணர் Professor Derrick Pounder உடலத்தின் குண்டுபட்ட இடத்தின் நிறத்தையும் அது சிதைந்துள்ள விதத்தையும் வைத்து பாலச்சந்திரன் மிகவும் அருகில் வைத்துச் சுட்டுக் கொல்லப்பட்டுள்ளார் என்பதனை நிரூபித்துள்ளார்.
துப்பாக்கிக் குண்டுகள் பாய்ந்த திசையையும் குண்டு துளைத்த உடலின் துவாரங்களையும் வைத்து முதலாவது குண்டு சுடப்பட்டவுடன் பாச்சந்திரன் கீழே விழுந்துள்ளார் என்றும் அதன் பின்னர் அவர் மேலும் நான்கு தடவை சுடப்பட்டுள்ளார் என்றும் தெரிவித்தள்ளார்.
மேலும் அவர் இந்தப் படங்கள் எந்த விதமான மாற்ங்களுங்கோ ஏமாற்றுகளுக்கோ உட்படாதவை என்றும் படங்கள் நூறு சதவீதம் உண்மையானவை என்றும் தெரிவித்தள்ளார். அதன் பின்னர் எடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ள காணொளியும் ஆய்வுக்கு உள்ளாக்கபட்டு உறுதி செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது.
இதில் பாலச்ந்திரனின் உடலத்தின் அருகில் இராணுவத்தினரின் நடமாட்டம் அவதானிக்ப்பட்டுள்ளது. ஆனாலும் மகிந்த இராஜபக்ச அரசு இன்னமும் விடுதலைப் புலிகளின் போர்க்குற்றம் பற்றியேதான் பேசிக் கொண்டிருக்கப்போகின்றது. ஆனாலும் ஒரு தரப்பு குற்றம் செய்ததென்பதற்காக அரசாங்கம் கொடூரக் குற்றங்களைச் செய்வது என்பது எந்த விதத்திலும் நியாயப்படுத்தப்பட முடியாதவை. இது நீதி விசாரணை முன் சிறீலங்கா அரசை நிறுத்தவதன் மூலமே பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கான நீதி பெறப்படும்.

Monday, February 18, 2013

கழிவு நீரை அகற்ற கட்டணம் செலுத்தியும் 20 நாள்கள் காத்திருக்கும் அவலம்


முகவை.க.சிவகுமார் -, திருவொற்றியூர்

Source:http://dinamani.com/edition_chennai/chennai/article1468900.ece
திருவொற்றியூரில் கழிவு நீரை அகற்ற வீடு ஒன்றுக்கு ரூ. 200 கட்டணம் செலுத்தியும் 20 நாள்கள் வரை காத்திருக்கும் அவல நிலையால் பொதுமக்கள் கடுமையாகப் பாதிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளனர். இதற்கு அதிகாரிகளின் மெத்தனப்போக்கே காரணம் என பொதுமக்கள் தரப்பில் புகார் தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. 
சென்னை மாநகராட்சியின் 1-வது மண்டலத்தில் உள்ள 14 வட்டங்களில் கத்திவாக்கத்தில் 2 வட்டங்கள், திருவொற்றியூரில் 5 வட்டங்கள் என 7 வட்டங்களில் பாதாளச் சாக்கடை வசதிகள் கிடையாது. இப்பகுதியில் மட்டும் சுமார் 2 லட்சம் மக்கள் வசிக்கின்றனர். நகராட்சிகளாக இருந்தபோது இப்பகுதிகளில் கழிவுநீர் லாரிகள் மூலம் இலவசமாக அகற்றப்பட்டன. கழிவு நீரை அகற்ற கத்திவாக்கத்தில் ஒரு லாரியும், திருவொற்றியூரில் 2 லாரிகள் மட்டுமே இருந்தன. இதனால் கழிவுநீரை அகற்றுவதில் தேக்கநிலை இருந்து வந்தது. மேலும் குடிசைப் பகுதிகளில் கழிவு நீரை அகற்றுவதில் முக்கியத்துவம் அளிக்கப்பட்டு வந்தது. 
இப்பணி குடிநீர் வாரியத்துக்கு மாற்றம் ஆனதால் கூடுதலாக லாரிகள் வரும், தேக்கநிலை நீங்கும், வசதிகள் பெருகும் என எதிர்பார்த்த மக்களுக்கு ஏமாற்றமே மிஞ்சியது. இரண்டு ஆண்டுகளாகியும் ஒரு லாரிகூட கூடுதலாக ஒதுக்கப்படவில்லை. அதுமட்டுமல்ல, திருவொற்றியூர் மண்டலத்தில் இனி கட்டணம் செலுத்தினால் மட்டுமே கழிவுநீர் அகற்றப்படும் என சென்னைக் குடிநீர் வாரியம் கடந்த டிசம்பர் 10-ம் தேதி புதிய உத்தரவை வெளியிட்டது.
காத்திருக்கும் அவலம்: இதன்படி ஒரு வீட்டில் கழிவுநீரை அகற்ற லாரி அனுப்ப வேண்டுமெனில் வீட்டின் உரிமையாளரோ அல்லது வாடகைதாரரோ பகுதி அலுவலகத்துக்கு நேரில் வந்து ரூ.200 கட்டணம் செலுத்தி ரசீது பெற்று எழுத்துப்பூர்வமாக விண்ணப்பம் செய்ய வேண்டும். இந்த உத்தரவு கடந்த டிசம்பர் 15 அன்று முதல் உடனடியாக கண்டிப்பான முறையில் அமலுக்கு வந்தது. இதற்கு மாமன்ற உறுப்பினர்கள், பொதுமக்கள் தரப்பில் கடும் எதிர்ப்பு கிளம்பியது.
இருப்பினும் குடிநீர் வாரியம் இந்த எதிர்ப்பினைக் கண்டுகொள்ளவில்லை. இதனையடுத்து வேறு வழியின்றி பொதுமக்களும் கட்டணம் செலுத்தும் நடைமுறைக்கு மாற வேண்டிய நிலை ஏற்பட்டது. இதன்படி டிசம்பரில் 158 பேரும், ஜனவரியில் 213 பேரும், பிப்ரவரி 15-ம் தேதிவரை 162 பேரும் கழிவுநீரை அகற்ற கட்டணம் செலுத்தி விண்ணப்பித்துள்ளனர்.
ஆனால் ஜனவரி 27 ஆம் தேதிவரை விண்ணப்பித்தவர்களுக்கு மட்டுமே கழிவு நீர் அகற்றப்பட்டுள்ளது. இதனால் கட்டணம் செலுத்தியும் 20 நாள்களாக காத்திருக்கும் அவல நிலை ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது. போதுமான கழிவு நீர் வாகனங்கள் இல்லாததும், இருக்கின்ற மூன்றில் இரண்டு வண்டிகள் பழுதடைந்துள்ளதுமே இதற்கு காரணம் எனக் கூறப்படுகிறது.  இப்பிரச்னையைத் தீர்க்க நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க வேண்டிய அதிகாரிகள் தங்களுக்கும் இதற்கும் சம்மந்தமே இல்லை என்பதுபோல் உள்ளதாக புகார் கூறப்படுகிறது.
பொதுமக்கள் புகார்: ராமசாமி நகரைச் சேர்ந்த வேணு கோபால், பாரதியார் நகரைச் சேர்ந்த முத்துக் கோகிலா ஆகியோர் கூறியது: கட்டணம் செலுத்தி 20 நாள்களாகியும் கழிவு நீர் அகற்றப்படவில்லை.  இது குறித்து தொடர்ந்து வற்புறுத்த வேண்டிய நிலையும் உள்ளது. வீடுகளில் கழிவு நீர் பெருக்கெடுத்து ஓடுகிறது. துர்நாற்றம் வீசுகிறது. கழிவு நீரை நாங்கள் எப்படி அகற்ற முடியும். உடனடியாக கட்டண முறை விலக்கிக் கொள்ளப்பட வேண்டும். அதுவரை கூடுதல் லாரிகளை உடனடியாக ஒதுக்கீடு செய்ய வேண்டும் என்றனர்.
அதிகாரி விளக்கம்: இப்பிரச்னை குறித்து பகுதி பொறியாளர் முத்துசாமி கூறியது: கழிவு நீர் அகற்றும் இரண்டு வண்டிகளும் பழுதடைந்துள்ளது என்பது உண்மைதான். கழிவு நீர் அகற்றப்பட வேண்டிய வீடுகளின் எண்ணிக்கை குறித்த விவரங்கள் தற்போது எங்களிடம் இல்லை. கட்டணம் செலுத்தும் புதிய விதிமுறை குறித்து எனது அதிகாரத்துக்கு உள்பட்டது அல்ல. இது குறித்து வாரியம்தான் முடிவு செய்ய முடியும் என்றார். 
சுகாதாரம், கல்வி, சாலை, தெருவிளக்கு உள்ளிட்ட அத்தியாவசியப் பணிகளை செயல்படுத்த வேண்டியது அரசின் கடமை என்பது மட்டுமல்ல, கட்டாயமும், அவசியமும்கூட என்பதை அதிகாரிகள் புரிந்து கொள்ளவேண்டும் பொதுமக்களின் கருத்தாக உள்ளது.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Whose story is it anyway? Times Now takes credit for Express chopper deal expose


Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/whose-story-is-it-anyway--times-now-takes-credit-for-express-chopper-deal-expose/1074978/0

Through Wednesday and Thursday, I kept going back to Times Now to assure myself that I had not been seeing things. And every time, hovering over stock images of the AgustaWestland AW101 chopper, I found this logo: 'Times Now Expose in March 2012'. Sepia-tinted helicopters whirled about a sepia Navika Kumar. None of them were the AW101 which has become infamous. Rather, they resembled the cheerful little choppers that the Phantom (Lee Falk, not McDonnell Douglas) favoured for travelling between the Deep Woods and civilisation. Meanwhile, the ticker crowed: 'Opposition quotes Times Now report'. And demanded to know: 'Why was Times Now report ignored?'
Maybe the channel itself felt ignored and insecure. This desperate bid to take ownership of the VVIP chopper kickbacks story was absurd because along with it, Times Now was running an interview of former Air Force chief S P Tyagi, in which he clearly associated it with The Indian Express. Channels like Sahara Samay were routinely quoting Express newsbreaks. Times Now neglected to mention that in this story, as in many others, print had outpaced television. Since moving images are more memorable than words on paper, TV frequently gets the credit after the event. But if Express hadn't broken the story and stayed with it – ably supported by Times Now and other venues, no doubt – there would have been no excitement for TV to feed off this week.
In that light, this bid for ownership is as bizarre as daylight robbery. As is a dramatic ad that the channel is running, in which it appears to take full and sole responsibility for putting the screws on Suresh Kalmadi, Ashok Chavan, Anil Bastawade and Agusta. It takes credit for having the chopper case "reopened", a case which was never really opened at all. Can any media brand take full ownership of any story these days, in such a crowded and fast-moving industry? Times Now's coverage seemed to be as much about the vindication of Times Now as the story itself.
About the Opposition quoting their report, it was actually just Ravi Shankar Prasad. And he duly credited The Indian Express though predictably, he was warmer towards TV. Spokespersons can be so weak. Next question Times Now asks is, why was "your channel" ignored? But every channel, print and TV, was ignored until the Italians moved decisively on the case. And they moved for reasons of domestic politics.
Meanwhile Zee News, which gleefully reported a triple barrel attack on the Congress from Prasad, Arun Jaitley and Prakash Javadekar, found a fresh issue. It reported that Barack Obama had shot down a project to tart up the same helicopter for his use. Should India have countenanced a chopper that the White House had shot down, Zee asked rhetorically. Equally, we may ask: so what if the CIA doesn't like it? Bond loves it. The AW101 stars in Skyfall.
Zee's story was needlessly sensational, since the US and Indian cases have nothing in common. The US project concerned the VH-71 Kestrel, a variant which was to be developed by Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter and AgustaWestland from the AW-101. Obama had objected to budgetary overruns in this joint project, which has no connection with kickbacks. And anyway, Obama's current imperatives are quite remote from India's need to ferry George Fernandes to Siachen a decade ago.
And all the while, on Arnab Goswami's show, Subramanian Swamy smiled and smiled, like a man who is absolutely certain that some fine Italian food is coming his way. Does it really matter if it's a TV dinner, or if it comes wrapped in newsprint like fish and chips?
pratik.kanjilal@expressindia.com

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ennore Port takes stock of traders requirements


Source: http://www.sagarsandesh.com/news/ennore-port-takes-stock-of-traders-requirements/
Mr. M. A. Bhaskarachar, Chairman-cum- Managing Director of EPL, interacting with Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Director (Operations), EPL during the trade meet on Feb 15 in Chennai

Facing stiff competition from neighbouring ports like Krishnapatnam, Kattupalli and Chennai, the management of Ennore Port Limited, country’s only corporatized Major Port, has organised a trade meet with its users on Feb. 15 in Chennai.
Organised in association with the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) to get more attention among all the stakeholders, the EPL management  sought users’ perspectives to improve capacity at the port to meet the challenges.

Though the trade meet was said to be the first such initiative from the port in association with a trade body, users felt that EPL management organised it primarily to have the users’ view on the proposed container terminal at the port.

Ever since Mr. M. A. Bhaskarachar, who took charge as new Chairman-cum- Managing Director of the port two months ago, EPL officials are on their toes to bring more business to the port, which came into existence as only a satellite port for handling coal needs of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) about a decade ago.

Initiating the debate at the trade meet, Mr. Bhaskarachar said: “The very objective of organizing the trade meet is to elucidate the trade that we are a multi-cargo handling port with strong plans for a container terminal in future and not a coal handling port alone, as being projected among the EXIM fraternity.”
He also spoke about the financial plans and tax-free bonds tied with upcoming projects at the port and appealed to the users to give their concrete suggestions to improve the productivity of the port.
Mr. R. Senthil Kumar, GM-Operations, EPL, gave a presentation on the Ennore Port’s past, present and future to the users which was well received by the audience. He also announced that EPL is encouraged by the response from the trade for its proposed container terminal and plans to award the project before the end of 2013.

The session ended with an interactive session when users raised several questions about the management pitfalls, transparency in tariff in the port and viability of the proposed container terminal as three of their neighbouring ports are already into box handling business.
Replying to those queries, Mr. M. Gunasekaran, GM (Finance), EPL, assured the trade of positive action from the port soon. Besides others, Mr. T. Shivaraman, President, MCCI, and Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Director (Operations), EPL, spoke.

L & T unveils Kattupalli Port strengths to EXIM trade


Source: http://www.sagarsandesh.com/port/l-t-unveils-kattupalli-port-strengths-to-exim-trade/
              Mr. G. Gandhirajan, Chief Operating Officer (COO), L & T Ports, Kattupalli,
With a view to wooing the EXIM fraternity to its newly inaugurated facility, Kattupalli Port, a joint venture between Tamil Nadu Government and L & T, a trade meet was organised on Feb. 11 in Chennai.
At the meeting, in which about 300 representatives of major EXIM players from the region attended, Mr. G. Gandhirajan, Chief Operating Officer (COO), L & T Ports, Kattupalli, unveiled the state-of-the-art facilities the port has for movement of cargoes.

With the launch a couple of weeks ago by Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, the Kattupalli Port, still considered as a minor port which comes under the control of Tamil Nadu Maritime Board, has become the third port in the State to handle containerized cargo, after Chennai and Tuticorin.
Appealing to the gathering, which included the port’s potential customers, importers and exporters, besides steamer agents and Custom House Agents, Mr. Gandhirajan said: “Come and see the facilities that we have for the trade at the newly launched port and utilize them.
We will play a supporting role and will not compete with the facilities available in the neighbourhood, he replied when the EXIM fraternity repeatedly asked about its plans.

It may be noted here that the port is located amidst three important ports – Chennai Port and Ennore Port in Tamil Nadu and Krishnapatnam Port in the neighbouring State of Andhra Pradesh.
While Chennai and Krishnapatnam ports are already into container business, besides break-bulk and other activities, Ennore Port, which is sharing its boundary with the recently inaugurated Kattupalli Port, has ambitious plans for container handling facilities in the coming months.
Though L & T owns the port cum ship building complex, it has appointed the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), the Philippines-based port operator, for operating and managing the container terminal (Kattupalli International Container Terminal – KICT)
While ICTSI operates 24 ports in 17 countries worldwide, the KICT is the company’s first project in India.
Elaborating about the future plans, Mr. Gandhirajan stated: “Besides enhancing the capacity of container terminal, we are planning for RORO operations and also vie for handling liquid and general cargo in future.”
Adding further, he observed: “The port has a 14-metre draught now, capable of handling big container vessels, and it can be dredged to 16 metres if need arises.”
KICT has 5,120 ground slots for TEUs, 360 REEFER plug points and 15 RTGs for moving boxes swiftly from ships, he added.
Mr. Gandhirajan pointed out that the tariff for the port is posted on its website and the rates ae comparable with the neighbouring ports.
Since Kattupalli Port is still in the list of minor ports of Tamil Nadu (non-major port in Shipping Ministry parlance), it is technically outside the ambit of the Tariff Advisory for Major Ports (TAMP) that fixes tariff for the country’s 12 Major Ports (governed by Union Shipping Ministry).
Since we are not bound by TAMP’s tariff regime, we would consult the trade before effecting any revision to announced rates,” he stated.
L & T Ports has plans to organize similar trade meets at Coimbatore, Ambur and Bangalore for maintaining captive cargo for the new facility.

Besides others, Mr. Vishal Mathur, GM-Marketing & Commercial, L & T Ports,   Kattupalli; Capt. N. Vishwanathan, GM-Marine, L & T Ports, and Mr. Mohemed Gandhar, GM-KICT, interacted with the EXIM fraternity at the trade meet.

Karaikal Port enters ‘Box Club’ of ports, begins container handling


Source: http://www.sagarsandesh.com/news/karaikal-port-enters-box-club-of-tn-ports-begins-container-handling/

It was a red-letter day for the management MARG Karaikal Port on Feb. 15, as Bengal Tiger Line (BTL) has commenced the Container Feeder service from the port to Colombo.

The inaugural call of the 1,900 TEUs container vessel M.V. Tiger Bridge was marked with the exchange of mementoes with Capt. Celerian Dennis, Captain of the vessel, and the operators with the port.

With the fete, Karaikal Port becomes the fourth port in the TN & Pondy region to have facility for handling containerized cargo after Chennai, Tuticorin and Kattupalli ports.

Initially, the feeder vessel is expected to call the port every fortnight and later would become a weekly service as volumes stabilize. The inaugural call witnessed the export of 50 laden containers of CMA-CGM, the French container shipping giant which is one of the world’s largest container shipping lines.

According to port officials, this service, which offers connections throughout the world, is expected to be of immense value to the agro-industrial heartland of Central Tamil Nadu, Karaikal and Pondicherry, enabling business establishments in the hinterland to competitively access the world’s marketplace.

In addition to providing a competitive gateway for the exports and imports from this area, it will also help in reducing the carbon footprint of the industries by substantially reducing the distance through which the cargo has to be moved by road leading to benefits for the society of the entire region, the port officials added.

LIQUID CARGO

Continuing and strengthening its presence in handling liquid cargo, the newly constructed tankages in Karaikal Port, augmenting the total capacity of the port to 19,000 cbm, was commissioned on Feb. 8.

The commissioning of the new oil tankages was marked with the arrival of the first shipment of Crude Palmolein vide vessel M.T.MAPLE for M/s BUNGE. Also, Karaikal Port is regularly handling refined edible oil for M/s KTV Health Pvt. Ltd.

GRAINS EXPORT

This year also saw the commencement of wheat export from Karaikal Port. Food Corporation of India (FCI) has been exporting wheat through the port and till date, more than 1, 25, 000 MT of wheat has been exported. Another addition to the agro commodities, maize is getting ready for export. The commodity has already started to stockpile at the port’s warehouses and will be ready for loading onto the vessel shortly.

With the recent additions of Palmolein, Crude Edible Oil, wheat and maize to its cargo portfolio coupled with the commencement of the container service, MARG Karaikal Port offers a comprehensive and competitive logistics solution to businesses not only in the immediate hinterland but also throughout the length and breadth of the country.