Indian Railways unveils priority freight traffic policy for domestic iron ore transportation

Monday, 18 January 2021 11:52:27 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

Indian government-run transporter Indian Railways (IR) has unveiled a new policy for iron ore freight that offers preference for transport of iron ore for domestic consumption over export shipments, a government official said on Monday, January 18.

Under the new policy, IR has accorded priority “D” for iron ore freight traffic for exports in terms of allocation of rakes and loading. In order to differentiate between rail-cum-sea iron ore freight traffic and export traffic involving rail and ship, in case of the former the freight forwarder would submit a self-declaration that the consignment is for domestic production.

In the case of domestic consumption of iron ore, customers have been graded under three categories to be entitled for priority allocation of railways rakes and priority in movement of iron ore freight trains. The three priority categories of IR customers are: steel, pig iron, sponge iron, pellet and sinter plants owned by customers having their own private rail sidings at both loading and unloading ends, customers having such sidings at only one loading or unloading point, and those customers not having any sidings at all, and all these customers would be offered preferential allocation of rakes, the official said.

The official also said that clear guidelines have been issued on how to fully meet the needs of these customers by leveraging infrastructure facilities available at loading and unloading points, and under the new policy existing categorization based on customer profiles was being done away with and old and new plants shall be treated on a par as far as allocation of rakes was concerned. Iron ore constitutes 17 percent of IR’s total annual freight handling of 1 billion mt.

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