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Chennai Port Trust seeks review of High Court order

N. Anand

CHENNAI: The Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) is petitioning the Madras High Court seeking a review of its earlier direction asking ChPt to move the dusty cargoes, such as iron ore and coal, to Ennore Port from October 1, said ChPT Chairman Atulya Misra on Monday.

The matter was also discussed with the Shipping Secretary K. Mohandas during his visit to Chennai last week.

“We have taken the decision after consulting the Shipping Ministry, State government, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Trustees. The order was delivered to us on May 25. Since there was a limitation period of one month, we decided to submit the review petition.”

A majority of the port users, trustees or port officials were not aware about the latest development. Confusion also prevailed in the trade circle, as the Shipping Minister had said that the dusty cargoes should be moved out to create a healthy living atmosphere in and around Chennai Port, but the Shipping Secretary was against it as it would put the lives of 800 workers in jeopardy.

“There is no controversy or contradiction between the Shipping Minister and the Shipping Secretary on the issue. Both are on the same lines. We also discussed the matter with our Trustees. It is a unanimous decision to file the review petition,” Mr. Misra said.

Talking to The Hindu, a ChPT official said: “About 800 workers are engaged in coal and iron ore operations. A decision to move out these cargoes would render them jobless as Ennore Port cannot absorb everyone and it is also not ready to handle these cargoes. Moreover, ChPT cannot offer jobs to all as the container terminals have been privatised. Trade unions will also jump into the fray to file similar review petition to protect its workers.”

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