ChPT Seeks to Develop Dry Port to Ease Out Congestion
CHENNAI: Chennai Port Trust is seeking approval to build a dry port so it can ease truck congestion and remain competitive after traffic declined 4 percent in the port’s first three fiscal quarters.
The port wants to build the facility and rail sidings at Jolarpet, about 140 miles from the largest public port on India’s East Coast. CPT said an inland port on the Chennai-Bangalore corridor is vital to gaining additional cargo and increasing its rail share to 25 percent from 7 percent at present.
“Though the port has been taking measures, in coordination with concerned road/civic authorities to reduce road congestion, the port is of the view that there is a need for further improvements in connectivity in the interest of overall healthy growth of container traffic to and from the port,” CPT said. “It is felt that creation of a dry port/multi-modal terminal in the hinterland of Chennai Port will help the port in retaining and increasing throughput.”
Assuming the port can dispatch three trains of 540 containers from Jolarpet to Chennai, 380 trailers can be taken off Chennai’s congested roadways, the port said.
Chennai currently handles roughly 50,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units by truck to and from Bangalore annually, and officials are hoping the Jolarpet facility will convert those loads to rail, the port said.
CPT and Southern Railway officials have already inspected the site and identified parcels of land for the proposed inland cargo facility.
The Port Trust also requested the Government include the project in the Sagar Mala program in order to speed up the implementation process. Port-related rail development has been gaining momentum in India following the formation of a special-purpose company — Indian Port Rail Corporation — based on equity participation from Major Port authorities and Indian Railways to handle such projects.
Despite pricing incentives and service additions by Container Corporation of India, Chennai’s rail share in the April-to-December period dropped to 5.6 percent from 6.1 percent in the same period of the previous year, an analysis of statistics by JOC.com.