The long standing demand of the shipping fraternity, particularly that of the vessel operators, was fulfilled by opening of a Seaport Immigration office at International Container Transhipment Terminal, Vallarpadam.
On an average, about 60 ships visit ICTT Vallarpadam in a month and consequently, the Immigration Department had to make approx 120 trips each month to cater to their duties. Till opening of this office, for the boarding formalities for every ship, officers from Immigration office at Willingdon Island had to travel a long way to ICTT, encountering heavy city traffic.
Cochin Port Trust along with the operator of the Terminal, IGTPL took proactive steps in identifying and setting up of this facility with excellent support and sponsorship from Cochin Steamer Agents Association.
The new office facility would be a big relief to the Immigration Department as this would save a lot of their journey time for performing duties, thus enhancing their role and providing better and timely discharge of formalities which is conducive to the Government’s “Ease of Doing Business” policy. This would also help in quicker turnaround of vessels calling at the ICTT, thereby pushing up overall utilization and efficiency.
The office was inaugurated by Sethu Raman, FRRO, in the presence of Goutam Gupta Traffic Manager, Capt. Gouri Prasad Biswal, Deputy Conservator and Jimmy Geroge, Sr. Dy. Traffic Manager of Cochin Port Trust, Jibu Itty, CEO, DP World-Cochin, Raghu Jairam (CCBA) and Abdul Azeez, President, Cochin Customs Brokers Association.
Prakash Iyer, President, Cochin Steamer Agents Association welcomed the gathering and Rekha Nair, Chief Immigration Officer, Seaport Cochin, thanked all those who supported the move and assured full support to vessel handling agents/crews and the terminal for smooth operation.
The Cochin Steamer Agents Association thanked the Minister of Shipping and Road Transport for his leadership and support for making the Ports trade friendly towards improving the level of Ease of Doing Business in India.
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