Aimed at promoting short sea shipping, the depth of four minor ports in Kerala – Azhikkal, Beypore, Kollam and Vizhinjam – will be increased, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He was inaugurating a shipping trade meet organized by the Kerala Maritime Board in association with leading shipping service company J M Baxi and Company and short sea container ship operator Round The Coast through video conferencing.
“The depth of the ports will be increased by seven metres in the first phase and eleven metres in the second phase. The existing services, which connect Kochi with Azhikkal, Beypore and Kollam ports, will be expanded to Vizhinjam also,” said the Chief Minister.
He added that within three months after starting short sea shipping, a total of 1152 containers were handled by Azhikkal, Beypore and Kollam ports.“Apart from financial benefits, short sea shipping will help to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emission,” he said adding that the vessel operators have agreed to share a minimum of 20 per cent from the incentives given by the government to promote short sea shipping with the exporters and importers.
PWD Minister P. A. Muhammed Riyas delivered the keynote speech at the function presided over by Minister for Ports Ahammed Devarkovil through online.
K. V. Sumesh, M. Mukesh and M. Vincent; Kerala Maritime Board Chairman V. J. Mathew; Ports Additional Secretary Ramesh Thankappan; Coast Guard DIG Ravi; Rahul Modi, Member, National Shipping Board and KiranNanare, CEO, Round The Cost, also spoke on the occasion.
The trade meet was attended by agent representatives offoreign and Indian shipping companies, representatives of exporters and importers in Kannur, Kozhikode, Kochi, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram, leading chambers of commerce and trade associations in Kerala, other industry bodies in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and export and import companies and MLAs representing port towns.
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