Port of Kolkata
The Port has two distinct dock systems - Kolkata Docks at Kolkata and a deep water dock at Haldia Dock Complex, Haldia.
In the 19th century Kolkata Port was the premier port in British India. After independence its importance decreased because of factors including the Partition of Bengal (1947), reduction in size of the port hinterland and economic stagnation in eastern India.
It has a vast hinterland comprising the entire Eastern India including West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, MP, Assam, North East Hill States and the two landlocked neighbouring countries namely, Nepal and Bhutan. With the turn of the century the volume of throughput has again started increasing steadily.
Following the shift of power from the company to the British crown, a port commission was set up in 1870. Though the port was conceived to be a commercial port and gateway of eastern India, the port played a very important role in the Second World War. It was bombed twice by the Japanese forces. After the independence, the Commissioners for the Port of Kolkata was in responsibility of the port till January 1975 when Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, came into force. The Port is now run by a Board of Trustees having representatives from the Government, Trade Bodies, various Port Users, Labour Unions and some nominated members.
The Kolkata Port Trust manages two separate dock agglomerations - the Kolkata Dock System (KDS) and the Haldia Dock Complex (HDC).
Kolkata Dock System (KDS)
It is situated on the left bank of the Hooghly River at 22° 32' 53" N, 88° 18' 5" E — about 203 km (126 mi) upstream from the sea. The pilotage station is at Gasper/ Saugor roads, 145 Kilometers to the south of the KDS (around 58 km from the sea). The system consists of:
- Kidderpore Docks (K.P. Docks) : 18 Berths, 6 Buoys / Moorings and 3 Dry Docks
- Netaji Subhas Docks (N.S. Docks): 10 Berths, 2 Buoys / Moorings and 2 Dry Docks
- Budge Budge River Moorings : 6 Petroleum Wharves
- Anchorages : Diamond Harbour — 1. Saugor Road 2. Sandheads
Apart from this, there are around 80 major riverine jetties, and many minor jetties, and a large number of ship breaking berths.
Haldia dock complex (HDC)
- Impounded Dock. System with 12 Berths
- 3 Oil Jetties in the River
- 3 Barge Jetties in the River for handling Oil carried by Barges.
- Haldia Anchorage for lash vessels.
Due to the constraints of the river (like silting, sandbars etc.) no seagoing vessel above 200 GRT is allowed to navigate without a qualified pilot of the Kolkata Port Trust. The total pilotage distance to KDS is 221 km (comprising 148 km in river and 75 km in sea) and for HDC is 121 km (comprising 46 km in river and 75 km in sea).
The pilot vessel station is maintained at Sagar Roads. The River Pilot embarks on inbound ships at Middleton Point. Its responsibility is up to Garden Reach (Kolkata). On reaching Garden Reach, the river pilot is relieved by a Harbour pilot who takes the vessel inside the lock at KPD or NSD under the supervision of ASST. DOCK MASTER . Then a DOCK PILOT goes on board to relive the H.P and pilotage the vessel up to the scheduled berth KPD / NSD. Under the control of a dock pilot the inward / outward vessel passes through D.E.S.B /D.L.S.B., which is 80 feet narrow only .
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