Kollam: Plans are underway to begin a Colombo-Kollam ship service that will boost trade, revealed additional chief secretary P. H. Kurian, who is also in charge of the ports department.
Kurien said that efforts, including reducing the fee levied by the port authority, were on to attract more ships to the Kollam harbor. “The cost of using the Kollam port is quite low already. By reducing this further to just a namesake amount, the plan is to attract more vessels to dock here,” he added.
The ports department is also considering increasing the length of the Kollam wharf after the Colombo-Kollam route opens. The length will be increased by a further 75m. This will be on top of the ongoing extension of the wharf by 100m, which is expected to be completed by May. This extension will increase the total length of the wharf to 279m. The construction of the passenger terminal will be finished by April.
The team - lead by Kurian and port director H. Dinesh, which is looking into the construction taking place at the Kollam port, also visited the Neendakara Maritime Institute.
Starting courses at the Neendakara Institute to cater to possible job opportunities in ships is being considered. Currently, the Maritime Institute offers vocational courses granting licenses as lascar, master or driver of vessels plying on the backwater channels.