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Cashing in on a maiden cargo ship visit

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Attraction: A huge crowd turned up at the Kollam port complex to see the maiden cargo ship berthed there.
Attraction: A huge crowd turned up at the Kollam port complex to see the maiden cargo ship berthed there.

Staff Reporter

‘Unauthorised’ entry fee being levied on visitors

KOLLAM: Employees of the Port Department who have been posted at the newly commissioned Kollam port are cashing in on the arrival of the maiden cargo ship at the port. They are levying an ‘unauthorised’ entry fee of Rs.5 per head from the public for entering the port complex to have a close look at the ship.

The ship, which arrived at the port on June 16, has become a big attraction of the city. Hundreds of persons are arriving at the port to see the ship, which will be there till Wednesday.

On payment of the fee, a ‘vehicle pass’ is issued to the visitors. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday there were big queues of visitors to buy the ticket, being issued from the Customs House complex, a little away from the entry gate to the port.

On Sunday, more than 5,000 people visited the ship. By 7 p.m. on Monday, more than 2,000 tickets were understood to have been issued.

When asked about it, Special Officer, Ports, P.I. Sheikh Pareeth said the fee was unauthorised. He said the entry of visitors to the port was not permitted. However, since it is the first ship calling at the new port, a lot of visitors are expected and the department does not want to disappoint them. The Ports Department has not imposed a fee for this, he said.

District Collector A. Shajahan also said the fee was unauthorised. He said he would take up the issue with the Port Department officials concerned.

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