Kollam: The Kollam port will soon become a hub for cargo operations with shipping services starting from Colombo and Laksha-dweep. The government would consider appointing a special officer to accelerate the emigration processes in view of the prospective Kollam – Colombo cargo services. This was stated by Minister for Ports Kadan-nappally Ramachandran after meeting a delegation from Colombo at the Ashramam guest house here on Friday.
The delegation discussed various aspects of operating cargo services from Kollam port and told the minister that the services could be started if delay in emigration clearance was avoided.
The minister agreed to take steps to elevate the port to a cargo terminal by speeding up the emigration processes. The delegation also said the available facilities at the port were satisfactory to start the service.
The government is also planning to start cargo services from Lakshad-weep. The Lakshadweep development corporation representatives had earlier informed that the port having facilities for ships with draft of 7.5 metres and length up to 180 metres had greater cargo prospects.
Cargo services can be operated once the port is equipped with facilities for refuelling ships and warehousing facilities. The service also requires independent berthing facility and security for the warehousing.
The authorities have also demanded permanent facilities for immigration, plant quarantine and piloting facilities for smoother operations of vessels. The port fees should be rescheduled in a way to attract more shipping companies, they demanded.
With the setting up of the facilities, Kollam will become a coastal shipping hub for the transport of cashew, sand, and petroleum products....