Container Strike Hits Cochin Port Operations

Kochi, June 29 | Updated: Jul 1 2004, 04:34am hrs
The indefinite strike by container carrier owners since Monday has started affecting operations at the Cochin Port. Efforts to withdraw the strike failed though representatives of the Cochin Container Carrier Owners' Welfare Association and the Cochin Trailer Users' Welfare Association had earlier agreed to temporarily withdraw the strike. But with the transport minister refusing to hold talks they have been forced to go ahead with the strike, they said.

The container owners have been on strike to protest against alleged harassment by the regional transport authorities. They alleged that containers were being help up on the roads and fined for carrying goods beyond the limit. They said that if they stuck to the weight limits, containers would be half-filled which would prove costly to the customers. Though the matter was taken up with the authorities, nothing was done in the matter, they said.

During the talks on Tuesday, the operators were asked to temporarily withdraw the strike and hold discussions with the authorities. However, the operators said that when contacted, the state transport minister refused to have any discussions.

Port deputy chairman A Janardhana Rao told f48FEf45 that operations at the port were slowly getting affected as cargo coming into the port could not be moved out now. On Tuesday, two vessels sailed out and two come in.

However, from Wednesday even these operations would be affected and there was every likelihood of Kochi-based cargo being shifted to other ports. The port had appraised the Chief Minister and sought his intervention. Mr Rao said that the port would be taking up the matter with the Central authorities on Wednesday.