KoPT changes stand on application against ABG

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 05, 2012 19:10 hrs

In a volte face, the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) on Monday approached the High Court here to recall a plea it made last week to withdraw a October 26 petition.

“The court accepted the matter and said that it (original application) would appear before a regular bench after the Puja vacation,” said a senior port official.

The October 26 petition was to ask ABG Haldia Bulk Terminals (HBT) to continue its cargo handling operation at Haldia. ABG had pulled out of operations at berths 2 and 8 of the Haldia Dock Complex (HDC), citing law and order issues.

“Despite the fact that KoPT formed a three-member committee to discuss the matter with representatives of HBT and other stakeholders, HBT never responded to it,” the port said in a statement on Monday. Meanwhile, a fresh allegation came to the limelight on Monday, which said that a retrenchment threat by the cargo handling firm Ripley & Co to its workers’ union, Haldia Dock Complex Thikadar and Agency Sramik Union, on September 14 had triggered the immediate protests at Haldia.

“The company had written a letter to its workers, saying that it had no other choice but to retrench them, if HBT got a lion’s share of dry bulk cargo at Haldia. This triggered the agitations on September 15,” said Ramakant Barman, secretary of the Haldia Dock Officers’ Forum.

Ripley officials did not respond to Business Standard’s questions.

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