BIRGUNJ, June 26: Raxaul Railway Station - the point through which cement companies in Birgunj-Pathaliya Corridor import raw materials like clinker, gypsum, slag and fly ash -- has increased demurrage chare by up to six times.
The decision, which has been put in place for 10 days, is likely to impact price of cement in the domestic market.
As per the new penalty, importers have to a pay fine of Rs 1.7 million if there is delay of 24 hours in unloading raw materials loaded in one rack or 59 bogies.
A rack carries 3,800 tons of raw materials. This means import cost will increase by Rs 454 per ton.
According to importers, three racks of raw materials imported by Nepali industries arrive in the Raxaul Railway Station every day. They also said that impossible to unload the raw materials within the specified time. “The train doesn't come in scheduled time. Also, the check post remains closed from 11 pm till 5 am. Moreover, as the Raxaul rail go-down is always muddy, it delay the unloading process,” Rajesh Agrawal, a promoter of Subha Shree Jagadamba Cement, said, “We have already been facing problem in import of raw materials. The hike in demurrage charge by six times has further aggravated the situation.”
The new charge came into effect from Saturday itself.
Sending a letter on June 22, Samastipur Division of East Central Railway directed the superintendent of Raxaul Railway Station to increase demurrage charge for 10 days with immediate effect.
The railway hiked demurrage charge after raw materials remained stuck in its go-down for five days due to banda enforced by the Rastriya Janata Party (RJP).
Om Prakash Sharma, the president of Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expressed his dissatisfaction over hike in demurrage charge.
According to Madhav Rajpal, an importer, around 46,000 tons of industrial raw materials have piled up at the railway go-down because of the banda.
Railway gives importer 9 hours to load and 12 hours to unload goods. According to the new rule, if the unloading time exceeds the specified time by two hours, normal rate will be applied. But if it takes more than that, the charge will be six times higher than the normal rate.
If unloading process of a bogie of goods is delayed by 24 hours, it will attract a fine of IRs 18,300 which means demurrage charge for 59 racks will be IRs 1.07 million.