Exporters fume over ‘defunct’ X-Ray machine at Air Cargo Complex

Report by: 
ARUN BARLA
Port Blair
7 Jan 2017
Tonnes of cargo booked for delivery to various clients in mainland are being returned or damaged, a consequence of an X-Ray machine installed at the Air Cargo Complex of the Airport Authority of India here lying defunct for the past few days. According to reports, the X-Ray machine developed some major technical snag after which the staff  of the Air Cargo Complex were instructed to carry out manual inspection of the consignments. But as manual inspection takes considerable time, air-lifting of the packages are often delayed which leads to damages for the consignors mainly who book perishable items like fish, prawn, crabs, lobsters etc.
 Demanding prompt action for repairs of the X-Ray machine, traders, as per sources, have decided to hold a major protest against administrative apathy.
“The X-Ray machine remained inoperative for the past more than 10 days. Officials of the Air Cargo Complex inspect the consignments manually, open baggages as a result of which perishable items like fish, crabs etc get destroyed. We’ve suffered huge losses due to the predicament. In the past few years, export of marine products have increased manifold and air cargo has registered significant increase in revenue from the business. But such laxity in maintenance of crucial equipment like X-Ray machines is totally unbecoming for an agency like the Airport Authority of India. The  agency should take immediate steps to get the machine repaired in the interest of several traders of these islands,” said some exporters.