Saturday's ship collision and the resultant oil spill has stalled operations at India's busiest ports, Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
While JNPT handles more than half of India's container traffic, MPT manages one-fifth of India's sea trade — roughly 1.5 lakh tons of cargo day and six to seven vessels.
Customs officials estimated the daily import duty loss at Rs 85 crore. Annually, Rs 26,000 crore is generated in import duty from the two ports.
Shipping industry sources said JNPT is losing business to the tune of around 10,000 containers a day; three to five ships have been diverted to Pipavav port in Gujarat while a few others may be diverted to Mundra.
Bharat Petroleum Company Ltd said three of its shipments, 2 lakh tons in all, were waiting to dock. More than 31 ships are stranded at MPT as they can't leave port till operations resume; more than 37 are waiting at sea to enter the port. At JNPT, eight vessels are stranded; 80 are waiting to dock.
While the agencies involved hope to clear the channel by Friday, it's not clear if they'll succeed.
J.K. Mhatre, JNPT public relations officer, said: "Traffic has come to a standstill. We have 11 berths, nine vessels are docked at any given time. You can imagine the effect on operations."
The containers that fell off the Chitra have reportedly blocked the main navigation channel at JNPT.
With inputs from the business bureau.