Ministry of Railways PSU, Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR's) maiden voyage vessel- SSL Mumbai is flagged off from Kandla Port to Tuticorin Port by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal & Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation in the presence of Shri Vinod Chavda, Member of Parliament (at Kandla Port) on 10th January, 2019 through Video link from Transport Bhawan, New Delhi. Shri Girish Pillai, Member (Traffic), Railway Board, Shri Gopal Krishna, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Shri V.Kalyana Rama, CMD, CONCOR & senior officers of Ministry of Railways & Shipping were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal congratulated CONCOR & Ministry of Shipping for this joint venture. He said, "Railways has introduced many new reforms in the last 4.5 years. This is another first in the series of reforms. For instance, we have stopped producing the old model of coaches and started producing only LHB coaches, to eventually replace all old coaches. We have targeted 100 per cent electrification over the vast Indian Railways network. The joint efforts of the Ministry of Road and Railways have led to the inauguration of the Bogibeel bridge by the Hon'ble Prime Minister recently. The Rail University, having now been started, is preparing more than the 100 students for the transport sector.
The new indigenous built Train 18, under Make in India initiative, will soon be flagged off on New Delhi Varanasi route. This new service started today by CONCOR will also be very profitable for the freight movement to send goods to different locations in a cost-effective manner and will also reduce the load on railways and road. When we strive for world-class logistics costs in India, joint efforts by road, rail and sea is required, only then the pace of development will be accelerated." He added that CONCOR which started its operation with 7 terminals, today CONCOR has 81 terminals, he added that our goal is that CONCOR should operate from more than 100 terminals by next year. The Minister envisaged CONCOR, a Navratna PSU should develop itself as a "Ratna" for New India.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Nitin Gadkari said, "It's a red flag day in the history of transportation in India. I'm glad to see this modal shift in the logistics chain. The combination of Railways and Coastal Shipping is a win-win situation for both modes as this will release capacity for railways to carry others goods and facilitate more commodities like steel, cement, and other general cargo to be transported through coastal trade, thereby enhancing the coastal trade basket.
"I urge all CONCOR and other cargo transporters to utilise waterways and coastal shipping to enhance business coefficient as this is a much cheaper mode of transportation", the minister added. He also outlined his vision of reviving waterways in the country.
Briefly, the arrangement envisages deployment of two dedicated vessels, each capable of carrying a minimum of 700 loaded). CONCOR, in addition to first mile and last mile connectivity, will arrange port handling and coastal transportation of loaded/empty containers and bulk/break-bulk cargo between Kandla port to Tuticorin port via Mangalore port & Cochin port. This will provide a seamless solution to customers from Origin to Destination. There will be weekly services from Kandla port to Tuticorin port via Mangalore port & Cochin port. As a part of the overall strategy of expansion and entry into new areas of business that would complement CONCOR's position as a Multimodal Logistics service provider, CONCOR has commenced coastal operations from 10th January 2019 onwards.
Later, Shri V.Kalyan Rama, CMD, CONCOR delivered the vote of thanks.
(With Inputs from PIB)