Boat workers seek share in cargo-handling

  • Meeting with MLA yields no solution
  • Cargo workers seek intervention of SP, Collector

    Kakinada: The row over diversion of wheat shipment remains unresolved as it has taken a twist with cargo boat workers insisting that they be allowed to handle work at the deep-water port as their rightful share.

    Local MLA Mutha Gopalakrishna who is also honorary president of the HMS union is now sandwiched, as he is not able to convince members of either sections of the union.

    `Rightful share'

    Deep-water port workers are not ready to lose work in favour of their colleagues at the anchorage port.

    With no satisfactory solution emerging at a meeting with the MLA on Wednesday, the cargo boat workers were now seeking the intervention of the Superintendent of Police and the Collector.

    "We are not for creating unrest in the port. We are prepared to cooperate, but the administration should also see reason in our demand for a rightful share of work in the diverted cargo handling at the deep-water port," said V. Veerababu while leading a delegation to the SP.

    Meanwhile, the vessel S.D. Progress, waiting at the anchorage for the past five days, is likely to move to the deep-water port for berthing soon after the Central Food Laboratory clearance is received. "Once it gets berthed, shippers have to pay berthing charges it is kept in the anchorage," said a spokesman of the clearing and forwarding agents.

    Advice to workers

    FCI authorities were also in touch with the district administration in a bid to get the issue resolved amicably.

    Already, the police held discussions with both steel barge owners and cargo boat workers and advised them not to precipitate the issue as wheat is meant for catering to the requirements of public distribution system.