Responding to a question from Kanathil Jameela on behalf of M. Mukesh during question time in the Assembly on Wednesday, Minister for Ports Ahammad Devarkovil said basic facilities such as berths and cranes have been set up in the ports of Kollam, Beyore, Azheekkal and Vizhinjam for the cargo transportation.
Dredging permission was granted at Beypore to increase the channel depth to 5.5 m at a cost of ₹11.8 crore. There were plans to increase the depth to 8 m.
The Center for Management Studies was commissioned with a preliminary study for the construction of a multi-purpose berth in Ponnani.
Although a coastal shipping service had been established between Kollam Azheekal and the ports of Beypore, the company in question had ceased operations as it was not profitable. Even an incentive could not convince the company to continue due to a lack of returns.
Asked whether the Maritime Authority building a cargo ship or leasing a cargo ship could facilitate cargo shipping between smaller ports, the minister said the viability of own cargo ship is being studied by the Authority. It had been ordered that an agency be commissioned to study how the coastal shipping service could be made profitable and that a report be submitted.
Regarding measures to improve cargo shipping from Beypore to Lakshadweep, Mr. Devarkovil said that due to certain political developments there, cargo shipping from Beypore to Lakshadweep has experienced a decline and Lakshadweep has been dependent on Mangaluru Port instead. However, the state had promised the Lakshadweep government more facilities for them in Beypore and it was hoped that they would reconsider their decision.
Crew change at Vizhinjam
Efforts to resume crew change facility at Vizhinjam seaport continued. The Prime Minister has written to the Prime Minister and the state is in constant contact with the Union Ministry of Shipping, Mr Devarkovil said.
The minister said according to the agreement signed by the Oommen Chandy government with Adani Ports, the state would have to provide them with 25% of the profitability gap funding when 30% of the Vizhinjam breakwater is completed. I The Hindu
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