Bansal markets rail freight corridor

Even as Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal marketed the upcoming rail freight corridor to investors here on Wednesday, stakeholders hoped the freight rate levels would be lower.

Indian Railways charges one of the highest freight rates globally.

Speaking at an Assocham event here, Bansal said the dedicated freight corridors would be able to carry heavier trains, paving the way to move 10,000-12,000 tonnes of cargo per rake, which is about three times that of a train moving on the existing tracks.

However, the stakeholders sought further clarity. “I have only two concerns. India’s (rail) freight rates are the highest in the world. The current model is that Railways will pay access charges to Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Ltd (DFCCIL). So, the tariffs for using the corridors will depend on Indian Railways…What will be the charges on the dedicated freight corridor? It is important that Indian Railways takes steps towards reducing its costs,” said Vinoo Mathur, Managing Director, Bharuch Dahej Railway Company, a special purpose vehicle formed to strengthen a rail link to ports. Mathur is also former Member Traffic, Railway Board.

Vinod Asthana, Managing Director, Central Railside Warehouse Corporation, a public sector unit with focus on creating warehouses along rail tracks, said “There are two key issues – tariffs and terminals. What kind of freedom will DFCCIL be given in marketing and developing logistics parks around the freight corridor?”

Earlier, on whether DFCCIL will be provided additional powers related to tariff setting and marketing cargo, Bansal had said, “These decisions will be taken subsequently. As of now, we have not enhanced powers for DFCCIL.”

Meanwhile, DFCCIL’s Managing Director R.K Gupta said land acquisition for the freight corridor was on track, “We have acquired almost 90 per cent of the land…The environmental concerns, including obtaining clearances for passing through national parks and sanctuaries, have been suitably addressed.”

H.D. Gujarati, Director-Operations, DFCCIL, said there would be freight train services with a scheduled time table when DFCCIL starts services. There is opportunity to shift automobiles, white goods, FMCG on the rail freight corridor, he added.

Published in: on April 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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