Paradip Port on Monday resumed partial operations, after suffering extensive damages due to Cyclone Phailin that lashed the east coast two days ago.
The full operations would, however, take a few days more in view of heavy siltation, damages and grim weather.
“We could resume partial operations today despite stormy weather and have allowed 13-metre draft vessels,” Paradip Port Trust, Odisha, Chairman Sudhanshu Shekhara Mishra told PTI.
The port could restore normalcy to some extent through adequate contingency plans and restoration measures, he said, adding that “day-and-night untiring efforts by officers and staff of the port” also helped resume operations immediately.
He said there is eight lakh cubic metre siltation and surveys are on to assess damages and restore full normalcy.
A vessel MV United Halo with 26,650 metric tonne of fuel on board was allowed for berthing at the port on Monday.
However, berthing of vessels requiring more than 13 metres draught will be considered after survey of the approach channel. Railway operations at mechanised coal handling plant also commenced.
Mr. Mishra said it was stormy there with 3.5 metre swell outside the harbour and “therefore, survey of the 10 km long approach channel will be taken up tomorrow”.
He said night navigation will take two days to start as broken equipment are being repaired and replaced.
The port had evacuated about 2,000 people from low lying areas and kept them in seven shelters operated by the Port Trust. About 3,500 dry food packets were distributed, the Chairman said.
The Port with its hinterland extending to Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, suffered extensive losses due to the Cyclone Phailin but massive work is on to restore connectivity and operations.
Mr. Mishra said repair of damaged roads is on. Two of the major roads had caved in while about 30,000 trees were uprooted in the area.
The Port had shut all cargo operations, plants and machinery on October 11 and put in place a contingency plan to meet any eventuality due to Cyclone Phailin.
Electricity and water supplies were restored in the port area.
The Paradip Port mainly deals with bulk cargo apart from other clean cargoes. It handled 56.55 MT cargo in 2012-13, 54.25 MT in 2011-12 and 56.03 MT cargo in 2010-11.