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Mangalore-Hassan rail line open for freight traffic

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Will help boost cargo traffic at New Mangalore Port

A VIEW of the New Mangalore Port
A VIEW of the New Mangalore Port

A.J. Vinayak

Mangalore, May 5

New Mangalore Port got a shot in the arm on Friday with the formal commissioning of the Mangalore-Hassan stretch of railway line for freight traffic operations, as this will help boost cargo traffic at the port.

Ms Sarala Balagopal, Chief Executive Officer of Hassan-Mangalore Railway Development Corporation, told

Business Line

that the Mangalore-Hassan stretch of railway line has been commissioned for freight traffic operations with effect from Friday. When contacted, Mr P. Tamilvanan, Chairman of New Mangalore Port Trust, confirmed this.

Mr Shekhara Poojari, Assistant General Manager of Aspinwall & Co Ltd, said that his agency loaded the first inaugural rake with fertiliser cargo at New Mangalore Port on Friday. Nearly 2,400 tonnes of DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) cargo of Zuari Fertilizers, meant for distribution in Shimoga, is being sent through the Mangalore-Hassan railway line, he said.

"Hitherto, we were sending cargo either via Kerala or via Goa. The commissioning of the railway line for freight traffic operations will improve the import and export from New Mangalore Port, and save the cost and time of customers," Mr Poojari added.

New Mangalore Port handled 6.62 lakh tonnes of fertiliser cargo during 2005-06 against 3.53 lakh tonnes in 2004-05.

It may be mentioned here that the first trial run of goods train to New Mangalore Port on the Mangalore-Hassan railway line began in January. In this, the port received one rake of iron ore cargo from Bellary region.

To receive bulk cargo

Mines in the hinterland of New Mangalore Port send around 30 million tonnes of iron ore to various ports in the country. The commissioning of the railway line will help New Mangalore Port to receive a major portion of this cargo.

Sources in the port said that the railway connectivity would help in transporting around six mt of iron ore from Bellary-Hospet and Sasanur-Chitradurga regions to New Mangalore Port.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 6, 2006)
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