Staff Reporter

FACT imports 27,500 tonnes of urea for distribution in southern States

15,000 tonnes is to be distributed in various places in State

6,000 tonnes of the consignment has been dispatched to various destinations

KOCHI: Urea movement from Kochi port to various destinations in South India was stalled here on Tuesday afternoon and 40 rail wagons requisitioned for the purpose were cancelled.

According to a spokesman for Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd (FACT), which imported a total of 27,500 tonnes of urea for distribution in southern States, the movement of the consignments were stalled after a section of the workers refused to load consignments from the godown to the lorries.

The fertiliser company had requisitioned 40 rail wagons to move 1,200 tonnes of each of urea to Tiruchirapalli and Madurai on Tuesday. Thirty lorries were also detained for the purpose, it was learnt.

An official at the Headload Workers’ Welfare Board, dealing with the registered labourers on Kochi Port premises, said that the movement of urea was stalled owing to some confusion about the availability of rail wagons on Tuesday.

He said that since 40 wagons were placed to be loaded, about 250 labourers would have been needed for the operations. However, since there was some confusion over the availability of wagons, more than 70 workers had gone to do other works by the time the wagons were placed.

The Welfare Board official said that the confusion had been cleared and that there would be no delay in the movement of the urea parcels.

It is likely that the urea consignment will now be moved by lorries on Wednesday.

FACT sources said that urea was being imported through Kochi after more than a decade and that the Union Fertiliser Ministry had allotted various portions to the South Indian states.

According to the allocation, 15,000 tonnes are to be distributed in various places in Kerala while 7,500 tonnes had been allocated for Tamil Nadu and 5,000 tonnes for Karnataka.

Only 6,000 tonnes of the total consignment has been dispatched to various destinations so far.

A total of 2,400 tonnes were meant to be despatched on Tuesday.

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