Cochin Port Officers’ Association is deeply concerned about the latest development about the trailer strike being called for by a section of the trailer workers.
Cochin Port is slowly recovering from its bad slumber in the recent times. We have registered a significant growth of about 19% in 2016-17. We are aiming to cross 5 lakhs TEUS in year 2017-18. CPOA considers that it is the responsibility of all the stakeholders of container industry including the Trailer operators and the workers to work united to achieve better throughput at container terminal so that not only Port but all the stakeholders are equally benefitted.
The recent move by a section of trailer workers to go on strike indefinitely from 25.5.2017 is a suicidal decision. We urge upon the workers to refrain from the strike for the better future of all of us. It is very evident from the fact that the problem of Trailer parking will get resolved when the new parking facilities being developed by BPCL and IOCL are complete. Port had already allotted a total of about 9.5 acres of land in Vallarpadam to various firms like, Arpita, BPCL, IOCL etc., for developing into trailer parking yard.
Arpita has already started operating, BPCL will start operating from end of this month and IOCL will be completing the work within another six months time. We understand that nowhere in India, Ports have allotted such extend of land for trailer parking purpose. Regarding the 10 acre land in the SEZ area as claimed by the unions for converting to parking space, CPOA is of the opinion that the project area under the Vallarpadom Container Terminal shall not be de- notified for any other purpose, since it is very sure that the volumes will exceed the capacity of the terminal in the near future and expansion will be
inevitable. However, it is understood that the Port has invited an EOI and there was no takers for the same.
Even though about 1500 odd trailers operate in Cochin area, only about 500 trucks are coming to terminal daily for business purpose. The rest of the trailers are idling without any work, waiting for business. It is our considered opinion that the Port may need to provide parking only to those trailers which are having some business with the Port. It is the State which should take a call, on providing parking area for idling trailers parked at the road sides, like in the case of other transport vehicles plying on the roads of the state. The road tax collection, permit for operating the trailers etc. are being taken care by the State Govt. and hence the responsibility of providing infrastructure including parking shall be taken care by the State. The terminal itself provides adequate parking inside the terminal for the trailers coming for picking or dropping the containers. The other trailers coming for business can be easily accommodated in the parking spaces being developed in Vallarpadam.
CPOA, therefore requests all the trailer operators and the workers unions to refrain from their decision to go on strike from 25.5.2017. Also we hope that the State Government will intervene in the matter and resolve the issues of the trailer workers, so that a business conducive atmosphere prevails in Cochin
Port in the years to come.
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