Centre sends a team to Haldia port

A fortnight after the ABG-led Haldia Bulk Terminals (HBT) decided to pull out from the West Bengal port, the Centre for the first time sent officials of the Union Ministry of Shipping to examine the situation.

While the Kolkata Port Trust chairman sent a report a few days ago, sources said the ministry was not satisfied with it.

The team it sent is led by Janardan Rao, managing director of the Indian Port Association, and will spend several days at the Haldia port before submitting a report.

"We won't allow the Haldia port to run at a loss after the ABG pullout and so we sought an appointment with Minister of Shipping G K Vasan, who intervened and sent a team to Haldia," Minister of State, Urban Development, Deepa Dasmunsi said.

The team that visited the port office will be speaking with the 600 retrenched ABG labourers and will also talk to officials of Ripley and Company, a cargo handling company that is a rival of ABG, as well as HBT officials.

Dasmunsi said a team of the West Bengal Congress will also be meeting the retrenched labourers on November 20.

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