The Nepali container yard full of cargo at Kolkata port. Photo: Ritesh Tripathi/Republica
BIRGUNJ, June 25: Movement of Nepal-bound containers has been affected at the Kolkata port yet again.
According to contractors, more than 700 Nepal-bound containers are stock at Kolkata port – the largest transit point for Nepal’s trade with third countries.
A Nepali clearing agent at the Kolkata port said that not a single railway rake carrying Nepali-bound containers have left the containers in the past four days. This means, Nepal-bound containers are piling up at the port.
CONCOR, a sister concern of Indian Railways, is the sole transporter of Nepal-bound containers from India. However, as CONCOR has not delivered even a single rake to the Kolkata dry port, over 700 containers are stuck at the Kolkata port till Sunday.
Nepali importers blame CONCOR for traffic congestion that occurs quite often at the port. Importers say that CONCOR simply does not prioritize cargo meant for Nepal and cause delay in transport, citing lack of rakes to transport containers.
As containers are stuck in Kolkata, supply of certain goods in the market has been affected. “Also, it has decreased productivity of industries as required raw materials are also stopped at the Kolkata port,” said Pradip Kedia, former president of Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
According to traders, they have to pay demurrage fee to the shipping company if containers are not released within the stipulated timeframe. “Such fines and penalty increases our import costs, causing us to suffer heavy losses,” Kedia added. “As per Nepal-India Railway Transport Agreement, transport of goods via rail should be done through CONCOR. This rule has put Nepali importers at the receiving end. CONCOR at times thus do not cooperate with Nepal which causes problems for Nepal.”
Sources claim that rakes will be provided for transport of Nepali goods from Sunday onward.