Nepalese trade and govt promised all facilities

Visakhapatnam, which has been designated as the second port of call for Nepal after Kolkata-Haldia, will be the ideal gateway port for exim cargo from that country and the port authorities will provide all facilities to the Nepalese trade and government for the purpose, said Visakhapatnam Port Chairman MT Krishna Babu.

He was participating in an interactive meeting with a seven-member delegation from Nepal headed by Nepal Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi in the Visakhapatnam container terminal on Friday.

A container shipment bound for Nepal was flagged off on the occasion. Krishna Babu said it had been a long wait for Vizag port to be designated as the second gateway port for Nepal and it had taken five to six years.

‘Many advantages’

“In spite of the longer distance from here to Nepal, Visakhapatnam has great many advantages over Kolkata-Haldia and its location, facilities, efficiency and quicker turnaround time make it the natural choice,” he said and added that in spite of the longer distance, competitive rates can be offered here and cargo can also be moved in, and out of, Nepal in quickly.

Sushil Mulchandani, Chief Operating Officer, Visakha Container Terminal Ltd, said because of the much deeper draft here (17 million tonnes in the outer harbour) than Kolkata (only 7 mt) bigger vessels can be handled and there would be distinct cost advantage.

He said Vizag was a growing port with many facilities and it would connect Nepal with the rest of the world but the entire South India.

Cheaper option

There would be no need for transhipment from here. He drew a cost comparison with Kolkata and explained to the delegates how it would be advantageous to use Vizag container terminal.

Nepal Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi appreciated the efforts and cooperation shown by the Vizag port authorities, the Customs personnel and the Indian Railway authorities.

(This article was published on June 24, 2016)

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