labels: economy - general, transportation
Railways open up container operationsnews
06 January 2006

New Delhi: The Indian Railways has opened up container operations to private and public sector players, thereby breaking the monopoly enjoyed by Container Corporation of India till now. According to the ministry, those interested can take route-specific or all-India permission by making a one-time payment of Rs10-50 crore.

The Railways will grant operating permission for 20 years, which can be further extended by another 10 years to transport export-import (EXIM) and domestic traffic.

While the registration fee has been kept relatively low, the earnings for the Railways would be through haulage charges that the parties would have to pay on a per-container basis. For instance for each container on the Delhi-Mumbai route, operators would have to pay Rs12,000 as per current haulage charges, which can be reviewed by the Railways from time to time.

To apply, applicants need to have a net worth or annual turnover of Rs100 crore. They will have to make their own arrangements for a rail-linked inland container depot (ICD) by leasing it from ICD owners or by owning it. They also have to procure flat wagons for transporting containers, whereas Railways would provide locomotives.

There is no cap on the number of players who would be allowed to operate in each route.

The Railways would invite applications for one month every year. Applicants will have to pay the registration fee while applying. The registration fee of those applicants who are not eligible will be refunded. The permission would be for a 20-year period and can be extended by another 10 years subject to satisfactory functioning by the operator.

Players can exit operations by transferring the permission to another eligible operator, with Railways approval. Players are free to decide the level of tariff for charging their customers for rail haulage, terminal handling and ground rent.

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Railways open up container operations