Unsold ship continues to occupy berth at Haldia | Kolkata News


KOLKATA: A ship that was supposed to have been sold off by now seems to have turned into a bugbear for the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust (SPMPT). Russian freighter MV Vsevolod Beletskiy lies anchored at Berth 8 of Haldia Dock Complex (HDC), running up charges, and for the second time in less than a year, SPMPT has offered it for sale on orders from Calcutta HC.
The ship was ‘arrested’ in 2017 after a dispute with a shipping company, and from September 2018, has been occupying the berth at HDC. After SPMPT (then Kolkata Port Trust) and others moved the high court, seeking payments of dues, the company that owns the vessel failed to respond. Finally, the court ordered that the ship be sold to recover dues.
In July 2019, it was sold to a company for Rs 24.15 crore. However, appeals were moved in the HC, pointing out that it was valued between Rs 58 and Rs 64 crore. Thereafter, another company offered Rs 34.5 crore for the ship. A third company also appeared with a plea that it had an agreement with the ship’s owners and would pay Rs 24 crore. They were asked whether they were ready to pay Rs 35 crore.
A fourth company then appeared and offered to pay Rs 36 crore. The HC finally directed the port to initiate another bidding process. This time, SPMPT set a reserve sale price of Rs 24.15 crore.
The port floated another tender a few days ago to free Berth 8 by engaging an agency to unmoor the ship and moor it at buoys within the impounded dock system. It will cost Rs 3,80,000. According to an official, port dues have run up to Rs 8 crore and the berth where it is moored can be used for other ships.

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