Friday, May 31, 2013

Atulya Misra assures to address woes of granite exporters, handling agents

Mr. Atulya Misra, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust, has assured the granite block exporters and handling agents that their grievances would be appropriately dealt with at the right time.

Replying to queries raised by the granite block exporters and handling agents during a ‘Trade Facilitation Meet’, organized by the Chennai Port Trust management in its premises on May 24, as part of the port’s direct interaction with port users, he instilled hope and confidence in their mind that they need not worry about the weighment bridge issue, as the port would take immediate steps to put up one such facility for granite block export and handling.

He also announced that a proposal to create one full rake common user siding at black yard has been put on a fast-track mode and once the facility is in place, it will help the port to attract more and more GB exporters to Chennai Port.

Over a dozen big players from the sector, who had attended the open meeting, listed out their grievances, related to export of granite blocks, in crystal clear terms and appealed to the port management to look into their genuine demands to make the trade sustainable and profitable.

Initiating the interactive session with exporters and agents, Mr. P. C. Parida, Deputy Chairman, Chennai Port Trust, spoke about the facilities the port has for moving granite blocks (GB). He also explained the port’s flexible tariff for granites by comparing it with the neighbouring ports, where the stones are handled for export.

It may be noted here that the port had suffered a steep decline of GB exports via Chennai over the past few years as its rival ports located at Krishnapatnam and Kakinada had garnered them by giving huge discounts on different charges.

Airing his grievance at the interaction, a representative of a prominent exporter from Chennai said the port should have a dedicated common rail-siding for handling granite blocks and it was one of the main reasons for many such exporters to shift their activities to other ports in the vicinity.

Besides, he also noted that the procedure of disallowing direct entry of GB-laden trucks into the port premises and forced stacking of the blocks in a warehouse on the outskirts of Chennai, which increased handling cost, forced many players in the trade to opt for other nearby ports to export their stones.

Apart from rail-siding and direct entry of GB trucks, the issue related to weighment bridge was also raised during the interaction.

During the interaction, Mr. N.Vaiyapuri, Traffic Manager, Chennai Port Trust, made a brief presentation on the port’s facilities available for granite block export and handling. He informed the trade about the various concessions offered to them like exemption from heavy lift charges, weighment exemption and introduction of half shift gang for commencing vessels.

Mr. Vaiyapuri also announced that the port management is proposing to introduce half shift gang for finishing vessels and a trade notice to the effect would be issued shortly.

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