Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal, on Wednesday announced the maiden voyage of the barges with a shipment of 1,798 tonnes of finished steel products from Tata Steel Limited from Haldia to Pandu (in Assam) via Indo-Bangladesh Route Protocol (IBP Route).
This maiden voyage showcases the multimodal movement of goods as well as harnessing the power of the river-sea combination, a statement from the Ports Ministry said:
The shipment of steel products from Tata Steel Ltd. arrived at the Haldia Dock Complex by rail mode; loaded onto barges at berth no. 11 operated by TMILL who arranged cargo movement and loading at their dock. Ocean Whale Services will operate the barges for the trip.
Customs gave special permission to move this cargo on this route as a priority. The barges will be registered and will move from Haldia to the IWAI Pandu Terminal in Assam. The barges will travel along NW-I – Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route – NW-II.
On the way back, the barges will load coal provided by Fuel Sources India Pvt. Ltd., where LSC Solutions provides ground logistics support as well as last mile delivery, and is intended for offloading at SMPK, Kolkata.
The government plans to take advantage of inland waterways and establish synergy with ports for a robust multimodal logistics chain.
Further, to improve connectivity through waterways, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) has undertaken several infrastructure projects on National Waterways-1, Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route and NW -2 (Brahmaputra River) through the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).
The well-woven arterial network of rivers available in the eastern part of the country, coupled with the advantageous position of the Haldia Dock complex, SMPK having well-established connectivity by rail, road and deep waterways in the hinterland, would add a boost to the optimal realization of the full potential of the multimodal supply chain in the region.
This paves the way for seamless and robust integrated logistics solutions to utilize inland waterways and the IBP route in a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner, thereby benefiting the region and the country as a whole.
A memorandum of understanding has also been concluded between M/s. Brahmaputra Cracker & Polymer Limited (BCPL), a central government. Public sector company under Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt. of India and Port of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Kolkata for the development of a simplified supply chain for the movement of raw materials like naphtha, propane, pentane, etc. needed at BCPL’s petrochemical complex at Lepetkata (located about 15 km from Dibrugarh in Assam) from the Haldia Dock complex by rail and/or coastal shipping. In the reverse leg, finished products and by-products must be transported for distribution through the port for domestic and international market consumption. To this end, it is envisaged to set up storage facilities for the storage of raw materials imported from BCPL and related facilities at the Haldia Dock Complex.
Both parties have agreed to work together to process increased volumes of naphtha, propane, pentane, etc. at SMPK. The port has agreed in principle to extend the necessary facilities and infrastructure for BCPL, including land, rail sidings, etc., on mutually agreed terms, as directed by government policy.
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