By Saleem Shahid
QUETTA, Jan 7: More than 100,000 tons of imported fertiliser, unloaded at the Gwadar port, has been dispatched to various parts of the country since the port became functional on Dec 20.
The government is importing 350,000 tons of fertiliser through the port.
“So far 150,000 tons of fertiliser has been unloaded,” official sources told Dawn on Wednesday, adding that seven ships had anchored at the port since Dec 20.
The sources said that six out of the ships had been unloaded while unloading of the seventh ship was in progress. They said that four more ships would arrive at the port by Jan 21.
“We are transporting about 10,000 tons of urea daily from the Gwadar port to upcountry through trucks,” the sources said, adding that 400 to 500 trucks from Balochistan and Karachi were engaged to transport urea from Gwadar to Sindh, Punjab and the NWFP.
The labourers working at the port would continue unloading urea even during Muharram holidays for swift transportation of urea to other parts of the country.
Earlier, the Karachi port had been handling the unloading and transport of 4,000 metric tons of imported urea a day.“We are providing port handling facilities according to international standards,” a senior official of the Gwadar Port Authority informed the Chief Secretary of Balochistan, Nasir Mehmood Khosa, who visited the port on Wednesday. He said that arrangements had been completed to handle other ships arriving at the port over the next two weeks.
The sources said that with the Gwadar port becoming functional, massive economic activities have started in the port city of Balochistan and a large number of local people are getting job at the port. “All unskilled labourers engaged in unloading and port handling belong to Gwadar,” the sources said.
“Shipping agents are contacting the officials concerned to set up their offices in Gwadar,” the sources said, adding that importers and exporters were also taking interest in the Gwadar port.
Source: Daily Dawn, 8/Jan/2008