657 - 9/09 - Draught Restrictions - Kolkata/Haldia - India

Date: 24/09/2009

The Association would like to inform its members of the current situation the ports of Kolkota (Calcutta) and Haldia. Due to a combination of recent factors both ports have been affected by the reduction of available draught in the river Hooghly.

The port Haldia stands near the mouth of river Hooghly in the western Bengal region of India with Kolkata some way further up river. Both Haldia and Kolkata are unique in India due to their location in the river; this location provides its own set of problems which are outlined in this bulletin.

Due to a combination of factors including natural silt levels in the river and the excess flow of water from small streams caused by the monsoon, the available depth of water is often reduced due to the build up of silt deposits. To combat such problems continuous dredging of the river is imperative. Normally this operation is carried out by a government organisation, the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) however due to lack of available dredgers and a recent collision involving a dredger, the situation has escalated. In the last few weeks tests have revealed that levels in the river were 0.3 – 0.5m less than the local draught forecast.

It is obvious that both ports are largely dependent on the river being dredged; whilst problems persist and no additional dredgers are available then the situation shall continue to worsen. According to reports it is normal for bulk carriers to discharge around 60% of their cargo at the ports of Paradip and Visakhapatnam before transiting to Haldia/Kolkata, in the current climate they are being forced to discharge even more cargo if they are to have any chance of passing up river. The Association would advise its members to contact local agents or representatives to obtain the latest information.  

Source of information: 

Loss Prevention Department


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