Kandla Port resumes work after quake
India's busiest Kandla Port resumed operations for the first time on Saturday since a massive earthquake ravaged the region more than a week ago, the port chairman said.
"We have started trial operations since eight in the morning. There were four ships already berthed. They have started loading and unloading," A K Joti said.
The cargo handled on Saturday was wheat, soymeal and timber.
The quake, which measured 7.9 on the Richter Scale, killed at least 30,000 people and flattened innumerable homes and offices throughout Gujarat.
"If the trial run is fine, we will start operations in the half of the dry cargo area tomorrow," Joti said.
Earlier, only naval coast guard and other relief ships were using the port's facilities, ferrying heavy equipment, medicines, rations and other assistance to quake victims.
Most of the port's cranes and other equipment have been moved out to help in relief efforts.
On Thursday, the port's deputy chairman, Vipul Mittra, said it could take six to eight months to resume normal operations, but half of the operations could start in a week's time.
Inside the port complex there were relatively few visible signs of damage though some jetties had developed cracks.
Kandla has 15 jetties -- seven for liquid and the rest for general cargo -- and handles 17 per cent of the cargo passing through India's 12 largest ports.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat Maritime Board said on Saturday that the minor Navlakhi port resumed all cargo operations from Friday.
The board said in a statement that all its ports in the Kutch region had managed to return to normal.
The port of Bedi was already operational, it added.