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Thursday, Dec 02, 2004

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Monitoring movement of rakes — SAIL seeks access to Rlys' freight info facility

Our Bureau

Kolkata , Dec. 1

STEEL Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is planning to access Indian Railways' Freight Operation Information System (FOIS) and has accordingly approached the Railways authorities.

The Railways is understood to have agreed to provide the facility, though on payment.

The Centre of Railway Information System (CRIS) will implement FOIS, comprising two systems namely, RMS (rake management system) and TMS (terminal management system), it is learnt. Initially, four integrated plants located at Durgapur, Rourkela, Bokaro and Bhilai and the Kolkata-based Rail Movement Cell will be brought under the purview of the systems.

There is no immediate plan to have the systems in place at Alloy Steels Plant, Durgapur, Salem Steel Plant, Salem and Visvesvaraya Iron & Steel Plant, Bhadravati.

Once the FOIS is in place, it will be much easier for the plant authorities concerned to monitor on real-time basis the movement of rakes carrying raw materials and finished products from one part of the country to another. Also, the problem of wagon detention at the plant levels, a matter of concern to both the Railways and SAIL, it is felt, will be reduced.

Meanwhile, VISL has sent an SOS to the railway authorities for immediate allotment of rakes for transportation of iron ore lump from National Mineral Development Corporation's mines at Donimalai in Karnataka.

VISL, which produces about one-lakh tonnes of special steel for defence and the Railways, requires 10 rakes of iron ore lump every month and accordingly has urged the South Western Railway to make necessary allotments.

However, in October and November, the allotment was only one rake a month. VISL, which so far depended on the stocks it held at the plant level, is now in a jam as the stock is depleted.

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