Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, flagged off the maiden voyage of barges with a consignment of 1798 MT of finished steel products of Tata Steel Limited from Haldia to Pandu ( in Assam) through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBP Route) in presence of Shri Shantanu Thakur, MoS for Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
This maiden voyage showcases the multimodal movement of cargo along with the harnessing of the power of the river-sea combination. The consignment of steel products of Tata Steel Ltd. has arrived at Haldia Dock Complex through the Railway mode; loaded onto barges [DB ABDUL KALAM and DB KALPANA CHAWLA chartered by SMPK] at berth no. 11 operated by TMILL who have organized movement of the cargo and loading at their berth. Ocean Whale Services will operate the barges for the voyage.
Customs have given special permission to move this cargo on this route on priority. The barges will be flagged off and will move from Haldia to the IWAI Pandu terminal in Assam. The barges will move along NW-I – Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route – NW-II. In the return leg, the barges will load coal provided by Fuel Sources India Pvt. Ltd. where LSC Solutions is providing ground logistic support along with last-mile delivery and is destined for unloading at SMPK, Kolkata.
The government envisages leveraging the inland waterways and establishing synergy with the ports for a robust Multi-Modal logistics chain. Further, to improve the connectivity through waterways, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW) has taken up several infrastructure projects on National Waterways-1, Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route and NW-2 (River Brahmaputra) through the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).
The well-knit arterial network of rivers available in the Eastern part of the country coupled with the advantageous position of Haldia Dock Complex, SMPK having well-established connectivity by rail, road & inland waterways deep into the hinterland, would add fillip towards optimally realizing the full potential of multi-modal logistic chain in the region.
This paves the way for seamless & robust integrated logistics solutions towards utilising inland waterways and IBP route in a more cost-efficient and environment-friendly manner thereby benefitting the region and the country as a whole.
An MoU was also entered into between M/s. Brahmaputra Cracker & Polymer Limited (BCPL), a Central Govt. Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Govt. of India and Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata for developing a streamlined logistics chain for movement of feedstock like Naptha, Propane, Pentane etc. required for BCPL’s Petrochemical Complex at Lepetkata (situated about 15 km. from Dibrugarh in Assam) from Haldia Dock Complex through rail and/or coastal shipping.
In the reverse leg, finished products and by-products are to be routed for distribution through the Port for consumption of both domestic and international markets. For this purpose, tankage facilities for storing imported feedstock of BCPL and allied facilities are envisaged to be set up at Haldia Dock Complex.
Both parties have agreed to work together for handling increased volumes of Naptha, Propane, Pentane etc. at SMPK. The port has agreed in principle for extending the required facilities and infrastructure to BCPL including land, railway sidings etc. on mutually agreed terms and conditions, as per government policy guidelines.