Chennai, Feb 27 (SocialNews.XYZ) Coastal shipping service between the Chennai and Pondicherry Ports began on Monday with container feeder vessel 'Hope Seven' carrying 106 TEUs setting out on its voyage.
Chennai Port Chairman Sunil Paliwal flagged off the vessel at DP World Container Terminal, Chennai Port.
The Indian government, under its Sagarmala programme, has recognised the economic and environmental benefits of coastal shipping as compared to transport by the road mode.
In connection with this, the government decided to develop the Pondicherry Port as the satellite port of Chennai Port for container cargo - exports and imports from and to Puducherry (Pondicherry) and its hinterland extending to Cuddalore/Nagapattinam in the southeast, Trichy/Villupuram in the south, and Salem/Namakal in the west.
In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding between Chennai Port and Pondicherry Port was signed on March 15, 2017.
The commercial cargo handling operations could not commence immediately due to change in weather conditions resulting in siltation at the mouth of the Pondicherry Port.
In order to mitigate the siltation problem and to develop the Port, deepening of sea mouth entrance at Pondicherry Port was undertaken.
The Pondicherry Port is Customs ICEGATE (Indian Customs Electronic Gateway) enabled with quick import and export clearance facility with efficient in port warehouse containing stuffing and de-stuffing facility at Pondicherry.
Apart from regular containers, reefer containers can also be shipped between the two ports.
The service is expected to increase the volume of cargo from Pondicherry and its hinterland without road congestion to Chennai Port.
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