Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004

Cross Currency

Group Sites

Logistics - Shipping

East Coast Rly hopes for 63 mt of freight traffic

Santanu Sanyal

According to the ECR spokesman, while thermal coal would continue to be the major traffic for ECR in the coming days, the prospects of iron ore traffic posting a big jump too appeared to be bright.

Kolkata , Jan. 19

THE East Coast Railway (ECR), comprising the three divisions of Khurda Road, Waltair and Sambalpur, hopes to handle an originating freight traffic of about 63 million tonnes in 2003-04. Till December, the throughput was 46 million tonnes. The shares of the three divisions in the total cargo throughput have been Khurda Road with 43 per cent, Waltair 44 per cent and Sambalpur the balance 13 per cent.

"We have set a target of 100 million tonnes by 2010, and if the operating ratio could be maintained at the current level of around 65 per cent, then our railway will perhaps emerge as the highest profit earner for the Indian Railways," a spokesman told Business Line recently at the ECR headquarters in Bhubaneswar.

In first half of the current fiscal, ECR earned a revenue of Rs 1,321 crore from freight movement, up by over Rs 483 crore compared to the budgetary estimates.

At present, thermal coal accounts for the bulk, about 50 per cent, of ECR's total freight movement, followed by iron ore, about 28 per cent. The thermal coal movement takes place mainly between the mines under Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd and Paradip port, while 90 per cent of the iron ore movement is on the Kotavalsa-Kirandul Line linking Bailadila mines with Visakhapatnam port.

Among other cargoes are cement (1.5 rakes a day or 1.5 million tonnes annually, mainly between Baragar and Waltair), fertilisers (2.5 rakes a day or 2.5 million tonnes covering two fertiliser factories at Paradip and one at Visakhapatnam) and petroleum products (two rakes a day at Visakhapatnam port and at the most 10 rakes a month at Paradip). Besides, another six rakes a month are deployed to transport metals from National Aluminium Company's plant at Angul (Orissa) to Kolkata Dok System, Visakahaptnam port and Paradip port. Another 2.5 rakes per day are needed to transport finished steel from Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd's plant in Visakhapatnam and about 15 rakes a month to evacuate pig iron from Nilchal Ispat's plant in Orissa. Coking coal accounts for about 3-4 per cent of the total traffic.

While thermal coal would continue to be the major traffic for ECR in the coming days ("we are pinning a good deal of hope on both Mahanadi Coalfields and Paradip port," said the spokesman), the prospects of iron ore traffic posting a big jump too appeared to be bright, he said, pointing out that once the construction of various railway projects to upgrade the railway links to Paradip port was complete, the daily rake movement would jump to around 20/22 each, peaking at 25, from the present around 12/3.

The rail transportation ore from the mines to Paradip would become much easier and less costlier than at present once the Banspani-Tomka line was ready for operation. Right now, the work on the nine-km stretch between Banspani and Jarauli was over and that on the 48-km-long Jarauli-Keonjhar stretch would be over by 2004; it would be a few years more before the work on the 107-km stretch between Keonjhar and Tomka was complete.

But then it will be wrong to presume everything is hunky dory in ECR. As the spokesman pointed out, the Kotavalsa-Kirandul Line would remain operational only for seven months a year and even in those seven months, on an average 12 to 13 rakes would move a day as against the capacity of 17 to 18 rakes a day because of the lack of traffic. Also, not enough traffic was generated from the chrome ore mines at Sukinda as the performance of the state-owned companies engaged in the production of chrome ore left much to be desired. With a workforce of 44,000 and officers of about 400, ECR would need additional manpower if the targeted volume of traffic materialised, he added.

More Stories on : Shipping

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

Stories in this Section
CCEA may take up today Bangalore airport pact

DCI public offer plan hastens policy change
Govt revises dredging policy — Works to be awarded only through bidding
East Coast Rly hopes for 63 mt of freight traffic
Expectations fuel interest in Concor
Euro Tech gets Govt nod for deck cadet course
Despite increase in fuel prices — Minister rules out hike in rail fares
Rly Board adds two new posts

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line