New Delhi (NVI) The Centre today said that it has directed all major ports to waive-off all charges for ships carrying oxygen and oxygen related equipment cargo, in view of the excessive requirement of oxygen and related equipment in the country as India battles a massive surge in Covid cases.
Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, in a statement said that all major ports, including the Kamarajar Port Limited in Chennai, have been directed to waive-off all charges levied by Major Port Trusts (including vessel related charges, storage charges etc.).
The Ministry further directed these ports to accord highest priority in the berthing sequence to the vessels carrying consignments of medical grade oxygen, oxygen tanks, oxygen bottles, portable oxygen generators, oxygen concentrators,
steel pipes for manufacturing oxygen cylinders and associated equipment for the next three months, or until further orders.
In addition to this, port chairpersons have been asked to personally supervise logistic operations to ensure unhindered movement of such consignments for berthing of such vessel on top priority in the port, unloading of oxygen related cargo, coordination with Customs and other authorities for speedy clearance/documentation and expeditious evacuation of oxygen related cargo from port.
In case the vessel is carrying other cargo/containers in addition to above said oxygen related cargo, waiver of charges on pro-rata basis, considering the overall cargo or containers handled at port, should be provided for oxygen related cargo to such vessels, the Ministry said.
Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways will monitor the details of such vessels, cargo and time taken in the port from the time vessel entered in the port limits to exit of cargo from port gate, as per the official statement.
“Government of India is deeply engaged in handling the crisis related to the second wave of COVID-19 in the country and taking all steps to counter the situation through appropriate and innovative measures,” read the official statement.