Shimla: Himachal Pradesh government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) for setting up of a container freight station (CFS) and inland container depot (ICD) at village Sheetalpur in tehsil Baddi of Solan district.
Principal secretary industries Subhash Negi on behalf of the government and Harpreet Singh, Director CCI singed the agreement in presence of chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, chief secretary Asha Swaroop and RK Mehrotra, MD for Container Corporation of India here today.
Speaking on the occasion the chief minister said that with the signing of the MOU the construction work of the depot would be started by CONCOR immediately and completed at a cost of Rs. 53 crore within next fifteen months period. He said that the depot would be capable to cater to the export requirements of the local industrialists and products valued over Rs. 700 crore would be transported by the CONCOR from the station. He said that out of Rs. 53 crore, Rs. 29 crore were likely to be spent building the CFS and ICD at Baddi, warehouses, administrative buildings, railway siding, installation of heavy machinery and equipments while the approach road to the proposed site would be widened and improved at an estimated cost of Rs. 5.68 crore, land development work carried at a cost of Rs. 2.16 crore and the entire infrastructure developmental activities would be carried by the Himachal Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation on priority.
Dhumal said that the state government would be transferring 86 bighas of government land valued at about Rs. 16 crore to the CONCOR at a nominal lease of Re. 1 per acre per annum for a period of 95 years. He said that the depot would function as Container Freight Station till the time the location gets connected with the broad gauge railway line where after the same would be converted into ICD. He said that CONCOR would be booking the finished products and arrange at its own level movement of containerized cargo throughout the country. He said that it would be the responsibility of the CONCOR to carry the storage, keep the material in its custody, handle cargo and get the custom clearances etc. obtained at its level. He said that the authorities would also manage all warehousing activities and bear the expenses of customs etc. as well and manage single window service to its customers by fixing the tariff.
Chief Minister said that with the setting up of the container depot was a long pending demand of the industrial sector in the state which would smoothen the industrial operations and export of the finished products outside the area and also transport the raw material etc. for industrial use at their door steps. He said that he had time and again pursued the matter with the Union Ministry of Railways to set up the container depot at Baddi and assured them all help from the state government. He said that the depot was bound to give boost to the development and growth of industries in the region. He said that the area had 42 export oriented industrial units sending their products abroad and the depot would be beneficial to all such exporters in addition to the other all industrial houses. He said that the depot would also be instrumental in development of more export oriented industrial units and multinational companies coming to the state and invest in various industrial activities.
Dhumal said that the state government had reiterated the issue of connecting Baddi area with the broad gauge railway line at Chandigarh which would further improve the transportation of the industrial material and products inside and outside the area. He said that the survey work had already been completed and the project was likely to take off in the near future. He said that additionally the state government had raised the road connectivity issue with the Punjab Government which had agreed to complete the same by the middle of next year. He said that with the completion of road and railway connectivity network the area would be benefitted with more industrial activities.