Bowing to intense pressure from the local trade community, India’s Mumbai Port Authority agreed to waive charges levied on vessels stranded at cargo terminals because of the port shutdown in August 2010.
The shutdown followed the collision of two cargo ships off the Mumbai main harbor, causing a massive oil spill.
A representative of the Mumbai-Nhava Sheva Ship Agents’ Association said port management approved the waiver proposal at a recent meeting and a trade notice is expected to be issued shortly.
“Sanction is accorded to the waiver of berth hire and vessel-related charges for traffic affected by the collision of ships in the Mumbai harbor,” officials told user representatives.
The association, which has been spearheading the cause of vessel operators, earlier secured a similar concession from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (Nhava Sheva) amid protest from the two private container terminals operated by DP World and APM Terminals.
The collision of the container vessel MSC Chitra and breakbulk carrier Khalijia-3 had forced the closure of cargo terminals at both Nehru and Mumbai for nearly a week with restrictions to marine traffic lasting almost a month.
The two west coast ports, which share a common fairway, cumulatively account for a sizeable portion of India’s seaborne trade.