The trial run of Chowgule 8, a river sea vessel (RSV), expected to transport cargo from the Chennai Port to the Puducherry Port and vice-versa, conducted its successful trial run recently.
The trial run was carried out off the Puducherry coast through the sea mouth into the container depot in the Puducherry port premises. The vessel carrying 24 containers, including two loaded containers, took 30 minutes to reach the harbour. The trial run was held to ensure the smooth movement of the vessel through the sea mouth into the harbour.
First of its kind
An official of Chowgule 8 said the vessel, equipped with a crane, had a carrying capacity of 80 to 90 loaded containers. The RSV, said to be the first of its kind operating on the East Coast, required lesser depth and was mainly used to transport cargo. “We have planned to do two-way traffic from Chennai to Puducherry. The vessel would now take 10 hours to reach Puducherry. This would considerably reduce the transportation of cargo to the hinterland as lorries do not have to go to the Chennai Port Trust,” he said.
The containers would be loaded on trailers and placed in the container depot with the help of a reach taker equipment. The cargo would subsequently be loaded onto lorries and transported to the hinterland, particularly Cuddalore, Villupuram, Salem and Tiruchi. The Puducherry port was expected to handle around one-third of the containers diverted to sea from Chennai to Puducherry and vice-versa every month.
An official said the Puducherry Port had facilities for container handling, stuffing, de-stuffing and all other container-related activities.
As per the Memorandum of Understanding, the Chennai Port would assist the Puducherry Port in handling export cargo which would be transported to Chennai via the sea route for subsequent shipping to overseas destination through mainline and feeder vessels.
Capacity to be increased
The port would handle 100 loaded containers on alternative days and three lakh tonne cargo per annum initially. The capacity would later be expanded to one million tonne. The officials said ports in Chennai were too congested and cargo operators found it difficult to move the containers from the ports. The Puducherry port would act as a hub of the Chennai port and handle cargo bound to the interior districts of Tamil Nadu. The agreement would be on a revenue-sharing basis between the Chennai Port Trust and the Puducherry Port. The port would handle cargo such as cement and steel.