Railways moots auto hubs to boost traffic, logistics

In a win-win proposal aimed at enhancing share of railways in the transportation of automobiles, it has proposed the development of automobile and ancillary hub across the country. The Indian Railways (IR), in its draft policy, which will be placed before industry associations for formal discussion and approval later this week, says this will not only increase IR’s share in automobiles traffic but facilitate in providing end-to-end logistics. According to IR policy paper, development of automobile and ancillary hubs will help automobile manufacturers to carry their traffic by rail in bulk and that these hubs will also assist in secondary distribution to consuming centres in the immediate catchment areas from such hubs.

Besides improving rail co-efficency of the commodity, it says, such hubs will also help them in aggregation of automobiles to  offer full rake load to the railways. With IR inducting high capacity auto carriers, the policy says, railways will add more number of rakes to provide for competitive freight structure.

Surplus land
Apart from automobile majors, even logistics companies specialising in automobile traffic sponsored either by the players or Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) or registered special freight train operator for automobile are welcome to set up such auto and ancillary hubs.  Stipulating minimum annual turnover of Rs 20 crore for aspirants, the policy says these hubs will be allowed only at such sites where setting up of such value added facilities will result in attracting sufficient additional traffic and is approved by the railways. The railways will provide surplus railway land to be initially given on license basis for a period of three years on ‘as is where is’ basis for prospective developers.
These automobile and ancillary hubs, however, will boast of common user facility for general use for automobile sector without any exclusive right, it adds. The railways will be levying a license fee which, the policy states, will be increased annually and as applicable from time to time.
DH News Service

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