EXIM Trade in Southern India is extremely concerned over under utilization of
port capacity in East Coast ports downward of Viskahapatnam in sharp contrast
to over utilization of port capacity in West Coast ports. The country’s
manufacturing sector is concentrated in northern and central parts of the
country. The EXIM trade complains that the railway infrastructure from Central
India to East Coast ports is woefully inadequate and rail tariff not
competitive compared to rail movement to Western ports. In this segment freight
trains have to share the railway lines used by passenger trains and hence the
speed gets considerably reduced
Central government is further beefing up the infrastructure in the North West
Railway corridor by building a Dedicated Freight corridor from Mumbai to Delhi
covering all the manufacturing states. But the industrial corridors currently
at the drawing board stage between Visakhapatnam and Chennai and Chennai
Bengaluru, ironically have no railway component.
Sandesh posed these questions to Mr. Lenin Chief General Manager Container
Corporation of India, Southern Region, which transports containers by rail in a
big way in the country. Mr. Lenin however maintains that the rail
infrastructure between central India and east coast ports is adequate and that
the tariff offered by his organization is competitive. He said the country’s
industries are situated in Northern and Central parts of the country and they
find it convenient to move the cargo through West Coast ports.
reply to a question on the economics of rail transportation he said normally
the rail transportation is cost effective if the lead is around four hundred
kilometers. Manufacturing units in the North situated far away from the ports
have the advantage of cost effective transportation through rail. The units in
south being located close to the port have to rely on expensive road route.
trains between Chennai and Hyderabad could not be sustained due to less
patronage he said.
freight station sources in Chennai say that general cargo meant for Hyderabad
from the far Eastern countries like Japan and China are handled in JNPT port
while east coast ports can give tremendous freight advantage. Lack of adequate rail connectivity between
Chennai and Hyderabad has forced the trade to handle the cargo meant for
Telangana capital through JNPT.
the course of the interview Mr Lenin disclosed that the Chennai Port will soon
have an extended gate to CONCOR Yard Tondiarpet where Direct Port Delivery
cargo could be handled. Shuttle trains will be run between Chennai port
and CONCOR’sTondiarpet yard, a distance
of eight kilometers twice day. The customs have issued a notification to
facilitate handling of DPD at the COCOR”s yard. The move will help considerably
reduce the movement of tractor trailers into Chennai port.
which operates freight trains at regular intervals between Chennai port and
Bengaluru, will run similar service to Tuticorin port as well shortly from
Karnataka capital on a regular basis.
Elevated Corridor Project between Chennai Port and Maduravoyal, once completed in the next three years will
give a boost to Chennai Port’s Container
handling capacity said Mr Lenin in reply to a question.
Question and answer
session with Mr. Lenin Chief General Manager Container Corporation of India,
Sagar Sandesh: Container Terminals in the West Coast Ports like
JNPT, Mundra, Kandla are overworked while those in the East Coast are working
at 50 per cent of their capacity. How do you think the regional imbalance could
Mr. Lenin: Industries
in the country especially the manufacturing is situated in northern the central
parts of the country. They find it convenient to move their cargo to West coast
SS: Do you think
Railway Infra is adequate from Central India to East Coast ports and the tariff
competitive as it is in the case of movement towards West?
Infrastructure is adequate and CONCOR is offering a competitive tariff. CONCOR has already connected almost all Ports
by rail with hinterland terminals.
Railway General Manager has gone on record at a seminar in Chennai that hardly
two million tons of cargo are offered by five major ports in Tamil Nadu and
Kerala and host of minor ones out of 71 million tons handled by the
Railway. What are the reasons for the
poor share of the railway in the freight basket from ports in the region? Can
this situation improve over the years?
Or is this an all India phenomena.
L: Most of
the manufacturing industries are located in the northern parts of the country
and the lead is more. Hence the rail mode is preferred as it is found
economical. In the southern parts, the
distance of manufacturing zones to the Port is short and therefore road is
playing a major role. However, CONCOR
with its presence in the ports is providing prompt services for rail
private port player complained at a Shipping forum in the city recently that
CONCOR insists on return cargo to run freight trains. Is it the reason why you
are plying freight trains on a large scale on well established routes like
Chennai-Bengaluru ? When do you plan to open freight trains to
Coimbatore,Tuticorin and Hyderabad? . Railways share in freight emanating from
the ports in the region remains mostly single digit compared to the road
sector. How do you plan to improve the situation?
runs trains whenever there is a demand.
In Chennai-Hyderabad stream CONCOR was running regular schedules. However, the schedule could not be maintained
due to less patronage. CONCOR is
planning to commence train service between Bangalore and Tuticorin stream
SS: What is
your assessment of container traffic in the ports in Southern Region? What are
the Traffic projections like, in coming years?
overall trend of container traffic in Ports is encouraging. CONCOR’s share of traffic in the southern
Ports like Vallarpadam, Tuticorin and
Chennai are improving. As mentioned
above, CONCOR will be commencing rail operations between Bangalore and
Tuticorin Port. Recently, CONCOR has commenced movement of containers between
Bangalore and New Mangalore Port.
SS: Concor, Southern
Region is planning to build a Logistics park near Mysore and link it to New
Mangalore port. Can you give me the details of the Project?
has taken land in Kadakola (Near Mysore) for developing a Multi Model Logistics
Park and the work is under progress. It
will be connected to New Mangalore Port and to Chennai Port depending on the
demand of the trade.
will the extended port in Chennai port up to Tondiarpet become Operational?
When will shuttle service from Chennai port to Tondiarpet carrying DPE and DPD
cargo commence now that the customs formalities have been completed?
have issued a notification earmarking an area of 10 acres for DPE and DPD
containers by rail. CONCOR is in
discussions with various stake holders and is planning to run two rakes a day
initially. A highly competitive rail tariff has already been published.
Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP) providing a four lane highway linking
Chennai with Ennore ports along the coast is almost complete. In three years
time the Chennai Port Madurvoyal Elevated corridor will be completed now that
all the obstructions to the project have been cleared. Will this help to revive
the container traffic to Chennai port which has since moved to Kattupalli Port?
L: Once the
elevated corridor is established, Chennai port will stand to gain.
SS: Can you
give me the particulars of the railway connectivity projects to
Kamarajar port in Ennore?
connectivity is already available at Kamarajar Port. CONCOR has announced the rail tariff
connecting Kamarajar Port with White Fields Depot and SNF. Calling of container vessel is awaited at the
SS: How do
you find operating from established ports like Chennai and the string of private
ports like Krishnapatnam, Kattupalli or the hybrid port like Kamarajar in terms
of efficiency and swiftness in operational parameters?
L: CONCOR is running scheduled trains between WFD
and Krishnapatnam Port. Kattupalli is a
road based port. Kamarajar port, Ennore
is yet to be tested. (No exim container vessel has been handled at the Adani
terminal of the port so far)