AGBOA seeks ceiling on number of ships operated

Last Updated: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 14:01

Panaji: A body of ship owners carrying Iron
Ore from jetties to local ports has demanded that no more
barges should be allowed to be registered in Goa.

In a letter to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, the All Goa
Barge Owners Association (AGBOA) has sought complete ceiling
on number of barges allowed to operate in the inland waterways
of the state.

AGBOA Secretary William D`Costa claimed there is no space
for more barges considering the quantum of Iron ore allowed to
be extracted in the state.

Although Goa exported 54 million metric tons of Ore last
fiscal, the actual capacity, as per environment ministry is
just 45 million metric tonnes, he said.

Goa, traditionally, has been using barges to ship the ore
from jetties to both its ports Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) and
Panjim Port. There are 400 barges ferrying ore in the state
waters.

"The waterways are congested. There is no place for more
barges," D`Costa said adding that the total dead weight of all
barges together is 6.5 lakh tons.

"Considering the existing capacity, all barges together
can have on an average 70 trips a year, which is
uneconomical," he said.

The traditional barge owners are also wary of the mining
companies buying their own barges pushing back the business of
individual entrepreneurs.

D`Souza said major mining firms like Sesa Goa, Timblo
Private limited, Salgaoncar mining industry, V M Salgaoncar
and others have their own barges that carry the ore extracted
by them.

"We need governments help to save the business from
dying," he said adding there are some local politicians too
who have been investing in the business and getting priority
in the trade.

PTI



First Published: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 14:01

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