More steam to coastal shipping
The Kerala Ports department has asked the transport department to explore the possibility of banning heavy vehicles movement and giving fresh boost to coastal shipping.
The move to ban transport of heavy containers by road is expected to give a fresh boost to coastal shipping in Kerala.
The State Ports department has asked the transport department to explore the possibility of banning the movement of heavy container trucks and tankers carrying inflammable goods on roads during peak hours. The decision to decongest the highway between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasargodeis challenging due to lack of infrastructure and available resources, industry experts said.
To take advantage of the situation, the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry suggested the government to utilise the existing coastal shipping as well as inland water transport facilities for cargo movement to begin with.
CS Kartha, Cochin Chamber of Commerce, President said “Containers are already being carried from Kollam to Kochi Port by specially designed vessels under the new river-sea rules. However, the quantities currently being carried do not make this a viable business proposition. The volume may improve once the shippers know the cost advantage in moving container by sea.” The coastal or river sea route is already available in Kochi with the introduction of India’s first roll-on, roll- off double ended ferry project to take container traffic off the already heavily congested city roads.
However, this service at present operates at less than 30 per cent capacity due to lower container traffic. With the extension of this ferry service right from Kundanoor to the entrance of the container road at Kalamassery, the most heavily congested sections of the highway between Kundanoor and Edapally would be reduced considerably.