Sources said that a container terminal could be opened at either Amoor or Mukundarayapuram stations, which are close to Ranipet. “Such a move will benefit even the leather industry in Ambur and Vaniyambadi as they will be able to save on travel distance, nearly 100 km, and on costs,” a source revealed.
“Most export units in these regions consist of shoe upper and leather factories and unit owners had raised this demand at a SIPCOT (Small Industries Promotion Council of Tamil Nadu) meeting, nearly 15 years ago,” said Ranipet small and tiny industries association secretary L Gandhijothi. Asked why they asked SIPCOT when they could have approached the government directly, he said “The land on which the SIDCO (Small Industries Development Corporation) estate is located was originally with the SIPCOT, which apportioned an area for setting up the SIDCO estate nearly five decades ago and, hence, we interact with them for all our needs.”
Entrepreneurs are in a fix as the container traffic to Chennai port currently is carried out on multi-axle lorries, which charge a minimum of Rs 25,000 to move a 25-tonnne.
“If the same is moved by container wagons, an entrepreneur will save a minimum of Rs 10,000 per container,” a unit holder seeking anonymity said. Currently the central government’s Container Corporation of India (Concor) operates ICD’s at Bengaluru, Chennai, Chennai harbour, Tirupur, Madurai, Milavittan and Kochi in the southern region. What attracted unit holders was that Concor uses state-of-the-art, high speed, low height flat container wagons, capable of travelling at 100 kmph. “A container rake can include 45 such wagons and benefits freight movement and turn-around time is greatly improved,” sources revealed.
Association president R Amirthakatesan said, “Quicker transport and turn-around times will definitely increase trade volume and benefit industry.”