Mr. Sanjay Chauhan, Managing Director of Barbados Maritime Agencies Pvt Ltd has been the voice of the maritime industry in Gujarat.
He was held several responsible positions in the Saurashtara Agents Association, Gujarat and conveyed the sentiments of the industry to the State & Union Government.
In a recent conversation with The Shipping Tribune, Mr. Sanjay Said,”The union budget of the Government of India has not made any special provision to develop the shipping industry and ports in particular. Since Gujarat has 1,600 kms sea coast with Saurashtra alone having 1,200 kms, we approached the Govt of Gujarat to make provision in their budget to increase the shipping traffic in the state by reducing the port charges.”
He further expressed that “We have also brought to the notice of the state government the prevailing draft conditions at all the minor ports / anchorage ports. The drafts in the channels are reducing day by day due to natural current / siltation etc. Also direct berthing at the ports of Gujarat maritime board such as Porbandar and Okha have been reducing drastically for over 5 to 7 years. Gujarat maritime board has not taken care of dredging of the channel or berthing to the maximum draft to facilitate to load / discharge of the cargo.
At present, the maximum available draft at Okha and Porbandar port is only 7.57 and 7.5 meters respectively, a sharp drop from the 9.0 to 9.5 metres two years ago. A minimum Under Keel clearance (UKC) of 0.5 m has been recommended at all times in the harbor water and alongside the berth by all vessels. The non availability of draft at anchorage ports, minor ports has led to the anchoring of ships far away from the port. This has lead to increase in handling expenses.
We have requested the government to take the necessary steps to increase the draft at all major and minor ports at the earliest to increase the shipping traffic which in turn will lead to increase in revenue for the state government.”
Editor’s Note: As we are about to publish this conversation with Mr. Sanjay Chauhan, the news coming in from state government says that 268 Crores Rupees have been allocated for development and dredging of ports in the state.”
Source: TST NewsdeskPrevious Next
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