Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Wednesday, Nov 16, 2005
Google



Kerala
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

Kerala - Kochi Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Expert team begins probe into berth collapse at CPT

Staff Reporter

Shipping official visits Mattancherry wharf


  • No specific time-frame for submitting the report
  • 'Lack of long-term growth perspective led to collapse'
  • CPT staff not satisfied with expert team

    KOCHI: A four-member expert team appointed by the Cochin Port Trust to probe the collapse of the Q4 berth of the Mattancherry wharf triggered by heavy rain on Sunday night began its work on Tuesday with a site inspection.

    The team, after making preliminary inspections of Q4, had to wait till the low tide period late in the evening to make an assessment of the exact extent of the damage. The expert team has not given a specific time-frame for submitting the report.

    C.K. Aravindan and S.R. Gandhi of the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, V.G. Koshy, former Chief Engineer of Cochin Port Trust, and V. Chellapan, former Chief Engineer of Chennai Port Trust, are members of the team.

    Meanwhile, A.K. Bhalla, Joint Secretary, Shipping, visited the Mattancherry wharf. He was in Kochi on Tuesday for the annual general meeting of the Indian chapter of the International Navigation Association-Permanent International Association for Navigation Congress (INA-PIANC). It has been proposed that INA-PINAC's international assembly will be held in Kochi in April 2007.

    Meanwhile, the Cochin Port Trust Officers' Association said on Tuesday that the collapse of Q4 was the result of lack of long-term development perspective for the Cochin Port. A statement from the association said here that while ports like Colombo and Singapore had made plans for the next 50 years, Kochi was fighting for survival.

    It said that since the Port Trust had leased out its land to various parties it was in no position to build new storage facilities. This had led to a situation in which lot of cargo had to be unloaded and stored on the berth, especially when clearances for the cargo was delayed.

    The Cochin Port Staff Association (CPSA) has expressed its dissatisfaction over the constitution of the expert team. P. Padmanabhan, general secretary of the association, expressed fears that the probe might not bring out the truth.

    He alleged that the crystal salt was unloaded and kept on the berth in violation of the rules. The Port Trust authorities had closed their eyes to the potential danger to Q4, he said. He warned that similar accidents could take place at the Ernakulam wharf (Q6) where a large quantity of iron scrap has been pending for several months.

    K. Chandran Pillai, MP and president of the Cochin Port Employees' Organisation, has called for a detailed investigation into the incident.

    The Port Trust estimates that about Rs.30 crores would be needed to repair the damage and to re-commission Q4. More immediately, the Port would have to find alternative arrangements to handle the larger chunk of its break bulk cargo.

    Since Qs 3 and 4 have been decommissioned, the pressure would be on Qs 1 and 2 even as the Port Trust is refurbishing the Qs to receive cruise vessels, the number of which are expected to increase during the current year. Lower draft along the channel at Q1 and 2 will also be a problem in handling of the vessels.

    Printer friendly page  
    Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



    Kerala

    News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
    Advts:
    Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


  • News Update


    The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
    Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

    Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu