India: Azhikkal Port Dredging to Increase Shipping Operations
Shipping operations in the Azhikkal port have increased following the ongoing dredging on its outer and inner channels, reports The Hindu.
The port is eagerly waiting for a Rs. 150 crore development project which is expected to turn this riverine port into a major intermediate port in the State.
Dredging activities currently being conducted are aimed at increasing the depth of the outer and inner channels to four meters. According to the port officials, dredging work at the outer channel will be soon completed and the work is now expected to start on the inner channel. Once its depth is increased, vessels with higher draft will be enabled to enter the port.
A proposal for giving a portion of the wharf for the exclusive berthing of vessels from Lakshadweep has already been made. The Lakshadweep Administration had signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the development of this port in 2002, however it has not been implemented. The facilities at the port include 225-metre wharf and a truck-mounted crane as also the four-acre land acquired by the government for the development of the port.
M. Sudheer Kumar, Senior Port Conservator at the Azhikkal port, hopes that the cargo movement at the port will increase even more after completing the dredging work.
World Maritime News Staff, March 7, 2012;