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February 2, 2001
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Kandla port trial operations from Saturday

The country's busiest port at Kandla in quake-hit Gujarat is likely to begin trial operations on Saturday, beginning with unloading of general cargo at six berths.

The port, completely shut down after the devastating earthquake of January 26, which had played havoc with berthing, warehousing and navigational facilities, would resume partial operations on trial basis tomorrow, K D Raju, traffic manager, Kandla Port Trust, said.

Six vessels carrying general cargo are anchoring in the Gulf of Kutch and would start unloading at berths number one, five, 5A, 6A, seven and eight, he said.

Port officials, however, refuted reports of oil and chemical leakage from crude oil pipelines and chemical storage facilities.

"While there has been no leakage from oil pipelines, a minor leakage from the ACN (acrylonitrile) storage plant was immediately plugged " they said.

While experts from Bombay and Madras ports are working out the extent of damage caused by the earthquake and the rehabilitation programme, S Gopalan, development advisor (ports) with the Union ministry of shipping, is giving final touches to his report on the impact of the earthquake on port facilities.

The earthquake severely disrupted jetty and warehousing operations at Kandla port which handles 17 per cent of total cargo handled by major ports in the country, Raju said, adding that three of the eight container berths and two of the five liquid cargo jetties have been heavily damaged.

The Complete Coverage | List of earthquake sites

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