AJMER: In a huge boost to the marble industry in Udaipur, Chittorgarh and surrounding areas, a major Container Depot has started functioning at Khemli station, between Chittorgarh and Udaipur.
This is the first such depot in Ajmer division of of North West Railways (NWR). The depot, which was included in railway minister Suresh Prabhu’s Mission 100, was completed in seven months.
The Rs 33.54-crore facility will also help to develop the handicraft industry in this region.
Prabhu inaugurated the depot through video conferencing from New Delhi recently.
The container depot has an area of about 15 acres for storing marble and other goods for transport to different parts of the country.
The Ajmer railway division provided the land to the Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR) which completed the project in about seven months.
The depot was formally opened by Prabhu on Wednesday.
For the marble industry in the region, which had so far depended on trucks for transport, the depot has come as a major relief which addressed its concern for safety.
“Accidents were the major issue for us while transporting marble. But this depot will give us relief,” said Umesh Solanki, a marble businessman.
The depot has a capacity to store 2,700 tonnes of goods. Divisional Railway Manager Puneet Chawla said that the marble industry of Udaipur and Chittorgarh would also benefit from the ongoing gauge conversion between Udaipur and Ahmedabad and the Mundra and Pipava ports of Gujarat. Marble producers of Rajasmand also would be able to transport goods directly to the whole country.
The depot would help to increase the earnings of railways and the growth of the industry.
“Railways is both smoother and cheaper than road transport,” Chawla added. He said the depot provided major facilities such as railway siding for handling containers, high-mast light towers, etc.
He flagged off Freight Trains from Freight Terminals Adani, Kila Raipur, Penna Cement, Tandur and CONCOR, ICD, Khemli. He also flagged off 1st High Axle Load Steel Carrier rake under Special Freight Train Operator (SFTO) policy from Jamshedpur and flagged off Train No 16791/16792 from Punalur to Palakkad.
Prabhu added that for Railway, Freight is important segment. Change in freight policies are always required.These new 45 Freight terminals inaugurated today are a next step of changes in freight policy.