Kochi | An industry body in Kerala today urged the central government to extend the validity of cabotage relaxation for Vallarpadam container terminal. Supporting the view aired by D P World, the Dubai-based international port operator which runs Vallarpadam container terminal, the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) said an international trans-shipment terminal needs to be given more breathing time to attain its full capacity.
In the current situation, the CCCI requests the central government to consider extending the cabotage relaxation for a few more years. With the prospect of the Vizhinjam Port coming up in the next couple of years, it is imperative that the International Container Trans-shipment Terminal (ICTT) is given every opportunity to improve its fortunes to attain their targets, the Chamber said.
Noting that 70 per cent of the total trans-shipment cargo from India is now being handled by Colombo, the chamber said efforts are required to promote trans-shipment of Indian cargo from ICTT, Vallarpadam and reduce dependence on nearby foreign ports. Although there has been a year-on-year increase in the total number of containers (3,55,377 TEUs in 2014-15) handled at Vallarpadam terminal, this is nowhere near the projected targets, it said.
Urging the Centre to absorb the cost of maintenance dredging at Cochin Port as is the practice at some other Ports, the Chamber said this would make the port more competitive, especially when nearby ports are doing comparatively better. We feel that the Port and D P World should consider offering more incentives/subsidies in order to attract more services to Cochin, it added.
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