Re-tendering process soon for berth numbers two and eight of HDC where HBT used to operate

The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) announced on Thursday that it would initiate proceedings to blacklist Haldia Bulk Terminals Pvt Ltd (HBT), the cargo handling company that decided to exit from the Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) last month, for its “illegal actions of abandoning the agreement” with the KoPT.

A re-tendering process for the berths number two and eight of the HDC where the HBT used to operate will also be taken up, KoPT officials have said.

Stating that the HBT had abandoned the port on its own, Manish Jain, acting chairperson of the KoPT, said that the port would serve a notice to en-cash performance guarantee of Rs. 4 crore besides initiating an arbitration process for claiming compensation.

Mr. Jain said that the decisions were taken at meeting of the KoPT Board earlier during the day. The HBT had announced its decision to exit from the HDC on October 31 claiming that the authorities concerned had failed to ensure safety and security of their employees.

Rs. 1000-crore loss likely

Pointing out that the KoPT is expected to suffer a financial loss of a tune of more than Rs. 1000 crore in the next seven years because of the HBT decision to pull out , Mr Jain said the organisation had decided to take legal action for claiming its financial losses.

“The notice for inviting tenders will be issued on Friday. A new firm is expected to start work on these berths by March next year,” he said.

The KoPT has initiated talks with Tata Martrade International Logistics Ltd as an interim arrangement to use their mobile harbour crane at berth number 13 also, till the berths number two and eight are equipped to handle gearless ships.

The process of removing cargo lying at the berths operated by HBT has already started, KoPT officials have said.