The Calcutta High Court on Monday admitted a public interest litigation petition that expressed concern over the neglect of the Kolkata and Haldia ports and sought a directive to carry out capital dredging to save them.

 The petition, filed by environmentalist Subhas Datta, points out that heavy deposit of silt was choking navigation channels, creating a problem for large vessels trying to reach the Kolkata port.

 “Since 1982 no capital dredging has been undertaken and the improper and unscientific maintenance dredging carried out at present is affecting navigability along the Hooghly river as well as damaging the biodiversity and marine lives,” Mr. Datta said, adding that the Kolkata portwas one of the oldest and the only riverine port in the country.