Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Nov 05, 2004
Industry & Economy - Metals
Ore exporters, steel units urged to invest in wagons
Kolkata , Nov. 4
THE General Manager of South Eastern Railway (SER), Mr R.R. Bhandari, said here that iron ore exporters and steel manufacturers should invest in wagons to ensure that there was no delay in the movement of raw materials.
Speaking at the Metals 2004 seminar organised by The Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr Bhandari said there was no problem of wagon availability till a few months ago. Lately, however, the surge in the export of iron ore has put pressure on wagon availability for movement of raw materials in the domestic sector. "We work under a regulated system where exports are accorded priority and we need to accept that," he said.
According to him, iron ore exporters and manufacturers, such as steel producers, who need regular supplies of raw materials, should have their own wagon fleet.
"If steel producers and iron ore exporters are making good money, can they not invest in wagons," he asked, and presented a case for upward revision of tariff.
He said the demand for wagons was expected to grow by around 7 per cent in the current fiscal.
In 2003-04, the demand for wagons had gone up by 9 per cent over the previous year.
Mr Bhandari made a few suggestions aimed at facilitating availability of wagons for movement of raw materials required by industry.
He urged industry to reduce the detention time while loading and unloading. As regards line capacity, he said there were bottlenecks but problems such as these were being addressed.
He informed that the railways now have the capability to move 10-15 per cent more iron and steel than earlier. Moreover, with each wagon now being allowed to overload by four tonnes, the railways would be able to carry 3-4 per cent additional traffic with the same number of wagons, he pointed out.
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