The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry has applauded Centre pitching in ₹380 crore to deepen the draft at Cochin Port Trust by 16 meters. However, the body is still not clear about the exact details of the investment.
The Chamber is soon planning to reach out to Shipping Ministry for further details as the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the Centre’s decision to invest. However, the industry body expressed concern over the absence of details on various aspects of the investment.
The Chamber is planning to make a representation on the issue to the Shipping Ministry since details of several factors connected to the proposal are not clear yet, said PM Veeramani, President of Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
According to him, the deepening of draft is necessary to develop the Cochin Port as currently the pilotage charges are significantly higher than that of Colombo Port. However, this is mitigated to an extent by Cochin Port Authority by providing rebates on port charges to ships, he added.
Light house dues (LHD) in Indian ports, including the Cochin Port, are high and negate any concession offered by port authorities.
The Central government needs to have a relook at the LHD charges if the traffic is to improve, he added.
According to an announcement, the Centre is meeting only 50 per cent of the cost of this project and the balance is to be met by Cochin Port Authority.
Cochin Port Authority at present is in no position to bear the other 50 per cent cost of the investment hence they believe that the Centre only should consider doing the entire investment.
The announcement had also stated the ICTT operated by DP World is contemplating an additional investment to raise the capacity of transshipment terminal to 2 million TEUs, which should be welcomed whole heartedly as the foreign investor continues to evince interest in Cochin in spite of the development of Vizhinjam Port, the Chamber added.