With a view to expand containerised traffic between coast and hinterland, the Container Corporation of India (Concor) has acquired the infrastructure of KIOCL located at the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT).
While Concor is a Navratna company under the Ministry of Railways, KIOCL is a Mini Ratna company under the Ministry of Steel. KIOCL built a four full-line (900 m each) railway siding on NMPT premises in 2004 to handle iron ore exports at a cost of about Rs. 14 crore on NMPT’s land. The company has now sold the siding to Concor for the same amount.
KIOCL Chairman and Managing Director Malay Chatterjee told The Hindu that the company was rarely using the siding by paying Rs. 2 crore annual lease rent to NMPT. The construction cost is now recovered while KIOCL continues to use the facility whenever it brings iron ore wagons.
It is a win-win situation for the stakeholders, said Concor Group General Manager, Karnataka, Anup Dayanand Sadhu. His company was vigorously looking to expand business by creating inland container depots (ICDs) outside Bengaluru (Whitefield). While one would come up at Kadakola near Mysuru on a 60-acre plot in about 16 months, the Mangaluru facility was readily available, he said.
Mr. Sadhu told The Hindu that the State government was keen on having an ICD in Mangaluru to boost containerised exports/imports through trains thereby reducing traffic on roads.
There was a great demand for containerised transport for coffee, finished goods and other products between coast and hinterland. Mr. Sadhu said Concor plans to run at least 10 container trains a month initially out of Mangaluru.
The siding would enable Concor to handle this traffic even as the Railways has permitted to run container trains on Mangaluru-Hassan line with load up to 80 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of container on one rake.