Gilani inaugurates three reconstructed berths, tugs’ induction in KPT

KARACHI: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday inaugurated three reconstructed berths of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and induction of two tugs/ crafts in KPT fleet.The berths 11, 12 and 13 at KPT’s East Wharf have been reconstructed by Korean contractor Sang Yong.Under KPT’s same phase of upgradation, the reconstruction of remaining berths 10 and 14 at the East Wharf would be completed by April 2012.Work on all the five berths of 16 metres designed depth was started in 2008 at a cost of Rs 5.5 billion.KPT has 24 berths at its both the wharves. Now, the port has total 6 tugs/ crafts.

The ceremony was attended among others by Sindh Governor Dr. Ishrat-ul- Ebad Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Provincial Ministers, PPP MNAs and MPAs, foreign diplomats and Secretary Ports and Shipping Saleem Khan, Chairperson KPT Ms. Nasreen Haq, other dignitaries and officers of the Karachi Port.Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani highlighted the pivotal role of shipping in the country’s economy. He said the approaching trend of globalisation demands keeping abreast with modern standards in all spheres of production and transportation of goods.He emphasised further improvement in productivity and services in terms of quality and economy.

He complimented KPT’s efforts for reconstruction of the berths and induction of state of the art two powerful tugs acquired from brotherly country, Turkey that will foster the mutual relations of the two countries.He was also encouraged to witness the induction of two pusher tugs and a dredge tender built by Karachi Shipyard for KPT. Such construction reflects the potential of our indigenous development capabilities which the Government has always been promoting.

Prime Minister Gilani  said the changing global economy demands modernisation and expansion of the country’s  sea-ports to facilitate more and bigger ships which would boost cargo traffic and help generate more revenue. The increase in draught to 12.5  metres at KPT would attract mother ships carrying more cargo.  Maritime requirement is to provide maximum and standard services at the ports, he said adding that KPT will succeed in making it highly modernised.

He said KPT has been playing an important role in dispatching a big volume of relief goods to rains/ flood hit areas of Sindh, sent by  international donors and overseas Pakistanis.Prime Minister Gilani  announced that he had ordered special relief in demurrage to help timely clearance of the cargo.The Premier urged the nation to come forward and help the brothers affected by torrential rains and the flood. He said that he  was confident of overcoming this challenge of relief and rehabilitation through collective and targeted efforts.On this occasion, the Prime Minister praised Senator Babar Khan Ghauri’s services for Ports and Shipping. – APP