With the Haldia Dock’s financial position under strain following fall in parcel size of vessels due to low draught, the Centre has released Rs. 267 crore as dredging subsidy, Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy said here on Wednesday.

“Out of Rs. 400 crore sought by the Kolkata Port Trust as dredging subsidy, the Union Finance Ministry has sanctioned Rs. 267 crore which will reach very soon,” Mr. Roy told PTI.

These funds are to be paid to Dredging Corporation of India for dredging the Jellingham and Lower Auckland channels on the river Hooghly.

For the first time, the Haldia Dock is slated to suffer a Rs. 67 crore cash deficit in 2009-10. This deficit is slated to balloon to Rs. 238 crore by the end of 2010-11.

Stating that the efforts were on to get the remainder of the dredging subsidy, Mr. Roy said, “I hope with the release of Rs. 267 crore, the funds crunch in Haldia port will be solved temporarily.”