Coordination between railway, port officials stressed
The issue of absence of basic amenities at the anchorage port came to the light during the visit of Union Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju to the port on Thursday.
After a long gap, the port got orders to export over 40 lakh tonnes of foodgrains, including rice to foreign countries. Though the rice export was already commenced, it was moving at a snail's pace due to non-availability of infrastructure.
To highlight the problems, the Cocanada Chamber of Commence invited Mr. Pallam Raju to the port. Accompanied by Divisional Railway Manager of the South Central Railway Anurag and Director of Ports D. Muralidhar Reddy, Mr. Pallam Raju visited the port and admitted that there was an immediate need to improve the infrastructure and facilities.
He said that the anchorage port had a bright future, as more and more export orders were in the pipeline. Observing that there was a communication gap between the officials of the railways and the port, the Minister stressed the need for a close coordination between the two departments.
Labourers at the port sought intervention of Mr. Pallam Raju to solve the long-pending problems and arrange basic amenities such as drinking water and toilets. They said that the working conditions were pathetic due to absence of infrastructure.
Mr. Anurag said that plans were afoot to construct two sidings with cement concrete so that loading and unloading of stock from the rakes would become easier.
Mr. Muralidhar Reddy said that a full-time officer to the anchorage port would be appointed within a week from now and a sum of Rs. 28 lakh was allocated to take up urgent works. Chairman of the Chamber Dantu Surya Rao and others accompanied the Minister.
Later, Mr. Pallam Raju visited the new port station and said that the inauguration of the new station was getting delayed due to technical problems. He said that arrangements were being made to inaugurate the station in three months.