KATHMANDU, Nov 21: Bulk and open cargo handling has resumed in Haldia port after Kolkata Port Authority (KPA) - the Indian government undertaking that oversees operation of the Haldia port - made special arrangements to deal with the problem following abrupt exit of APG, one of the cargo handling firms, from the designated responsibility three weeks ago.
Mainly berth No. 2 and 8 of Haldia port had remained non-functional in the absence of the contractor company, leaving Nepal bound overseas imports - mainly bulk and open cargoes - stranded.
The KPA agreed to put crisis management measures in place to ensure smooth handling of Nepal-bound bulk and open cargos following negotiation with Nepalese Consulate General´s Office in Kolkata.
“The problem in cargo handling that emanated from the exit of APG has been resolved, paving the way for unhindered loading and unloading of Nepal-bound imports via Haldia port,” said Chandra Kumar Ghimire, Nepalese Consul General, told Republica over phone from Kolkata.
According to Ghimire, around 24,000 tons of coal imported by Triveni Group from South Africa had remained stuck in Haldia port for a couple of weeks in the absence of cargo operator.
“KPA has assured us that it would give high priority to handle Nepal-bound goods. Henceforth, all kinds of cargos will be cleared without any hindrance despite the absence of handling firm in berth No. 2 and 8 in Haldia,” he added.
Nepali business people have long been complaining about the mismanagement of state-owned Kolkata and Haldia ports which are vital for Nepal´s overseas trade.
In a bid to end the monopoly of these ports, the government is negotiating with India to operationalize privately run Vishakhapatnam port, which is comparatively well-quipped that Kolkata and Haldia ports, for its overseas trade.