East needs more railway terminals: Rly Board

Written by fe Bureaus | Kolkata | Updated: Oct 30 2009, 06:08am hrs
With increase in coal production in the eastern region there is an enhanced demand for railway terminals, according to Sri Prakash, member traffic of Railway Board.

It is important to develop rail terminals here to help industries prosper. We need logistic providers who can help in building these terminals," said Sri Prakash.

Coal India s production during the first six months of this fiscal has shown an increase of 16.64 million tonne over the corresponding period last year. There has been a growth of 4.3 million tonne in coal despatch till October this fiscal over last year.

"We are looking at a growth rate of 11% from the Railways current growth rate of 8.5%, which is higher than the country's GDP growth rate, said Prakash.

While he stressed on the demand for more terminals owing to growth of the port sector in the region, Kolkata Port Trust has not seen much increase in cargo handling. Haldia port, which handles 80% of the cargo for KOPT, has revised targets down to 41.62 million tonne from an earlier target of 42.7 million tonne.

According to Prakash, further development of terminals would be possible through participation of private investors. The Railway Ministry is also looking into the possibility of developing terminals dealing with both bulk and non-bulk commodities.

We also need more container terminals in the region, he said. The ministry is even ready to construct terminals on privately owned land, he added.

Meanwhile, the board is also looking at ways to increase passenger carrying capacity. While railway minister Mamata Banerjee has already introduced four Duronto trains, another 14 are expected by the end of this year, adding up to a total of 78 non-stop express trains.