Another dredger sought for clearing Haldia port channels

November 27th, 2008 - 10:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 27 (IANS) The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) has requested the Dredging Corp of India (DCI) for an additional dredger for Haldia port, where increased siltation has choked channels and reduced navigability.The KoPT, which claimed Thursday that the navigable draught of Haldia had improved to the level it was in December 2007, conceded that the big dredger which it was expecting to get from China soon, would not be available before Feb next year.

A high-level team comprising KoPT marine department director A.K. Bagchi and two senior DCI officials visited China and idenitified one trailer suction dredger that could be deployed at the Haldia dock channel. “On completion of formalities, the dredger is expected to be available by the end of next Feb,” Bagchi said.

However, he claimed that due to comprehensive dredging and other steps taken by the KoPT the depth of the two channels - Auckland and Jellingham - would improve significantly.

“The improvement of draught signifies that the average parcel load per vessel would increase by 400-600 tonnes depending on the type of vessel. Because of this development, it is expected that Haldia Dock Complex would be able to achieve last year’s traffic level of 43 million tonnes,” he said.

Now, seven dredgers are working at the two channels.

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