Railway freight hiked by 5-7pc at Birgunj ICD

- RAJESH KHANAL, Kathmandu
Railway freight hiked by 5-7pc at Birgunj ICD

Dec 14, 2014-

Himalayan Terminal Private Limited, which manages Inland Clearance Depots (ICDs) in Sirsiya, Birgunj, has increased railway freight charge by 5-7 percent.

“The fare has been increased in line with the rise in railway transport fare by the Indian authority,” said Animesh Kumar, manager of Himalayan Terminal.

However, traders have disputed the fare hike rate as claimed by Himalayan Terminal. Nepal Foreign Trade Association (NFTA) said the charge has been raised by 20-25 percent. “At the time when fuel price has been falling, it is not fair to raise the charge,” said NFTA President Ramesh Gupta.

Meanwhile, Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board, a government body overseeing the economical and efficient management of IDCs for the facilitation of Nepal’s foreign trade, said cargo freight charge has been raised by only 10-12 percent.

Traders said the rise in the fare would increase the price of imported goods and raw materials, thereby increasing production costs for industries. Eventually, the cost will be passed on to the general consumers, he said.

According to the NFTA, around 30 percent of the goods imported through the Birgunj customs point come through the ICD. Gupta blamed the low use of the ICD for inadequate supply of railway ‘racks’. He said only two racks arrive to the ICD per week currently. “We have

urged the authorities concerned to increase the frequency to three racks per week,” he added, adding a rack ferries 30-40 containers.

On the other hand, Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board said the hike in fare would not affect the market price of imported goods. “As the railway transport fare is around 40 percent less compared to road transport, it will not make much difference,” said Hemendra Mohan Shahi, manager at the board.

 

Published: 15-12-2014 09:36

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