United Port and Dock Employees’ Union on Saturday staged a dharna in front of administrative building of Visakhapatnam Port Trust in protest against the recent decision of Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs to clear the proposal to augment and modernise existing iron ore facilities at a cost of Rs.845 crore.

Stating that the decision was detrimental to the interest of the port, CITU leader and union general secretary V.S. Padmanabha Raju alleged that the port was undervaluing the assets and capacity of Ore Handling Complex and hand over all facilities to the PPP operator for an upfront price of Rs.170 crore.

He said the port had earlier estimated the value of the assets at Rs.252 crore and wondered why the port management dropped the plan to augment and modernise existing iron ore facilities at inner and outer harbour by availing Rs.200 crore from Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). The Union Cabinet had also approved the plan, he said.

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