Meeting of stakeholders to discuss the issue

The officials of Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) have questioned the shipping lines for levying congestion surcharge at the second container terminal despite rising objections and have convened a meeting of stakeholders on Tuesday to initiate action.

According to the ChPT officials, some of the shipping lines have been levying congestion surcharge in the name of ‘Chennai Trade Recovery' charges even as the vessels were allowed to berth on the arrival at the second container terminal.

They termed the surcharge as ‘illegal' and ‘unwarranted' and asked the shipping lines to withdraw it and refund the amount collected so far to the EXIM trade.

No congestion

Talking to The Hindu , ChPT Deputy Chairman P.C. Parida said “it is strange they are levying surcharge when there is no congestion. We have issued show cause notice to them.” He added that the first container terminal had congestion for quite some time. “But now that has been cleared. It is not known why they are still imposing restriction on import containers when the terminal has a capacity to handle 16,000 TEUs against the present inventory level of 8,000 TEUs.”

Transport operators blamed

He also blamed the transport operators for the chaos and said that any point of time at least 40 trailers were seen entering the zero gate without valid shipping documents on hand.

The congestion beyond the zero gate could be solved with the widening of road by the authorities concerned, Mr. Parida said.

Meets minister

The Confederation of Indian Industry - Tamil Nadu State Council Chairman N.K. Ranganath met the State Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi and the Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan last week to apprise them of the issues plaguing the harbour.

Mr. Vasan told reporters that Port Regulatory Bill was in a draft stage and they were seeking the views of all the stakeholders to arrive at a consensus.

The bill when introduced would benefit everyone.

  • Shipping lines asked to withdraw surcharge and refund amount collected so far to EXIM trade
  • Port Regulatory Bill in draft stage; views of all concerned parties being ascertained: G.K. Vasan