15 months on, CWC’s seal verification centre still a dream
Port Wings News Network:
With the view to decreasing the congestion of container-laden trailers along Ennore Expressway and Madhavaram to the port, Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) on Nov 29, 2013 inaugurated its parking yard cum seal verification centre at Thiruvottiyur.
However, 15 months have passed by now, but nothing moved beyond the proposal level. And now the Exim fraternity in Chennai has appealed to the CWC to start the operations soon at Thiruvottiyur as two other ports in close proximity started attracting cargoes originating from the region.
In the presence of Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) managing director Mr B B Patnaik and Chennai Port Trust Chairman Mr Atulya Misra, the then Union Minister of Shipping Mr G K Vasan inaugurated the operations of the Thiruvottiyur Parking Yard by flagging off the first container-laden trailer to the yard.
Chennai Port has developed in the first phase the parking facility for around 250 trailers investing around Rs 6 crores in 17,500 sq metrers area.
On full functioning, all Chennai Port-bound laden container lorries shall first come to the parking yard and after verification of all the documents shall proceed to the port and there would not be any waiting of container lorries in the Ennore Expressway upto Zero Gate .
The project has been envisaged primarily to reduce traffic congestion created by container trailers in North Chennai.
Though the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC), which has cleared the proposal in mid 2013, Chennai Port had applied to the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance to approval through Chennai Customs.
About the advantages of Parking Yard, a senior port official said that besides seal verification and parking facility, we are planning to open a 24X7 pass issuing section inside the yard, so that it could reduce waiting time for trailers as well and agents who throng at main pass section near port premises.
Speaking to Port Wings, a regular exporter said that the CWC should start the seal-verification operations soon and any further delay would not augur not well for both the Chennai Port as well as CWC, who is having another similar facility at Madhavaram.
“L&T Kattupalli Port has started attracting more containers and if the CWC fully operationalises both of its seal verification facilities (Madhavaram & Thiruvottiyur) it would help the big time exporters who bank on stuffing in their own warehouses and customs clearance at these facilities,” the exporter added.
When contacted, Mr.A.T.Shankar, Regional Manager, CWC, told Port Wings that the seal verification centre proposal at Thiruvottiyur has crossed several hurdles and waiting for the final approval, which could be anytime in next few weeks.
“Once the IMC meeting slated in coming weeks clears the proposal, we would approach the Chennai Customs Commissionerate for final approval and once the clearance comes, it will be a matter of few days to begin operations there,” the official added.