CONCOR increases rail movement to Nepal
Kathmandu, November 11
As the country’s import from overseas crippled due to lack of adequate rail movement causing a pileup of thousands of Nepal-bound containers at the Kolkata port, the Container Corporation (CONCOR) of India has increased the movement of rail.
Following the correspondence from the Ministry of Commerce and the Consulate General of Nepal in Kolkata, CONCOR has agreed to increase the rail movement to Nepal to clear the containers stuck at the port and the bonded container freight stations since long.
CONCOR, a subsidiary of Indian Railways, is authorised to ferry Nepal-bound cargo. CONCOR has increased the rail movement to Nepal’s only rail-linked Inland Clearance Depot (ICD) Birgunj, since last week, according to Rajan Sharma, immediate past president of Nepal Freight Forwarders’ Association. “CONCOR now delivers 180 containers (two rakes) in a week compared to 90 containers (one rake) in a week previously.”
CONCOR has assigned two rails in a week to ferry Nepal-bound cargo, which has eased the situation that the country was facing since the beginning of September. Due to lack of rail (locomotive) and its uncertainty, Nepal-bound cargo had piled up at the port.
Though the country’s import from overseas has been increasing exponentially in recent years, CONCOR has not enhanced its service to Nepal accordingly.
Traders have urged the government to amend the Railway Service Agreement (RSA) with India and put the provision of rail movement as per the requirement and also end the monopoly of CONCOR to get rid of the perennial problem for easier movement of Nepal-bound cargo from Kolkata port.
Nepali traders have to pay detention charges to the shipping liners if they are not able to return the containers within the grace time extended by the shipping liners. Normally, shipping liners provide a period of 21 days to a month for the containers to be returned, after unloading cargo either in ICD or any other unloading point of Nepal.