The Science Club of Don Bosco School, Liluah had organized an educational trip to Haldia on 4th October, 2013. The group comprised 49 students, mainly members of the club and the three club animators.
We reached the 2000 acre large dock complex at ten o’clock in the morning. The Haldia port has an artificial harbour and is about a hundred kilometres inland from the Bay of Bengal. Lounging in the harbours were ships from various countries, like Bangladesh, Japan and China, with capacities to the order of kilotons.
Ship (container) cranes were loading bulk cargo from the vessels on to the ground. Harbour cranes, stationed by the shoreline loaded the cargo into trucks. Conveyor belts are generally used to transport loose bulk from the vessels to the end of a harbour or the storage area, which itself is a massive shed (larger than a football field).
The ships have a turnaround time of three days, with six to eight vessels turning up daily. Trucks of various sizes are used as carriers. Colossal tankers were waiting at the harbour. These tankers are used for transporting acids, oils and petroleum.
We also took a stroll on the jetty, where powerful tug boats used for pulling large ships were stationed. Also present was a lock gate for maintaining the water level near the harbour. On the jetty were capstans-projections used for mooring boats and ships. Various mineral transactions also occur at this port, the major imports being manganese, coal, limestone and sulphur, while exports include iron ore.
The Haldia port is a place worth visiting. It was a rainy but informative day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.