The rich maritime
heritage of the Tamils dating back to sangam age two thousand years ago was
recalled at a meeting to commemorate the 54th National Maritime Day
Celebrations held at the sea farers club on April fifth.
ancient history and the maritime heritage of people from the southern part of
the country Chairman of the Chennai port P Raveendran said the Musiri port
patronised by the Chera kings situated near the present day Kodungalur
functioned as a Gateway port to the Arab world where gold from the west was exchanged
for Indian spices. The primitive barter trade brought about prosperity in the
literature spoke of flourishing trade between these two destinations when he
quoted a verse from Agananuru to prove his point. The port was destroyed in the
floods in the Periyar river way back in the fourteenth century. From the
remains of Musiri port emerged the modern day Cochin port, he said.
replete with instances how ports like Musiri, Thondi and Korkai patronised by
the Pandya kings indulged in modern day shipping activities like transhipment
business. He also spoke about the ancient port that had come up at Poompuhar in
the east coast developed by the Chola king Karikalan.
went on to explain the exploits the great chola king Rajendra chola who
expanded his empire to Sri lanka and then on to South East Asian countries.
The latter day
desi shipping magnate to emerge in southern Tamil Nadu was V O Chidambaram who
floated the first domestic shipping company and plied ships in Tuticorin
colombo sector way back in 1906.
The Port Chairman
went on to explain the deeds of his own port having lost both coal and iron ore
bread and butter cargo for the port till 2011.Still the port managed to handle
over fifty million tons of cargo in the just concluded last financial year, he
He also spoke of
how valiantly the port personnel handled the dastardly cyclone varda when the
port was eye of the storm. The damages were minimised thanks to the efforts put
up by the port staff late last year.
Referring to the
latest oil spill near the Chennai coast following the collision of two oil
tankers Mr Raveendran said a quick response team has been constituted
recently comprising officials of Chennai
port, Indian Coast Guards and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to take charge
of the situation in the event of recurrence of oil spill in the area.
Rear admiral Alok
Bhatnagar Flag officer Commanding Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval area who was
the chief guest spoke of the strategic location of the country's coastline in
the Indian Ocean area and need to safeguard its interests. We have a long
coastline and one thousand two hundred islands to look after he said. The 12
major ports and 164 minor ports in the country and most of them have world
class infrastructure to handle cargo.
Raveendran inspected a guard of honour presented by the cadets of the Maritime
Institutions based in Chennai and its Suburbs. He garlanded the statue of V O
Chidambaram while the Naval officer Bhatnagar laid wreath on unknown seamen's
Mr Barik Chairman
of National maritime day celebrations committee and Principal officer of
Merchantile Marine department said the day commemorates the first voyage of the
Indian ship S S Loyalty of Scindia steamship company from Mumbai to London two