Ministry asks Indian Steel makers to leverage Inland Waterways for their logistics needs

The Steel Ministry suggests Indian steel-makers to tap upon the Inland waterways route for transportation in the sector. Tata Steel in the private sector, and the state-owned SAIL are suggested by the ministry to explore the possibilities in this regard and prepare.

As per the minutes of the meeting held in August-end between the Ministry officials and industry stakeholders chaired by the Union Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, “SAIL and Tata Steel are to submit a note with specific actionable points” on “using waterways for logistics purpose in the steel sector”.

The note is expected to be ready by the next meeting scheduled on September 21, those aware said.

Leveraging, waterways provides substantial cost advantage apart from being a non-polluting way forward.

Tata Steel in previous instances has been one of the few companies to have used both the inland waterways and the Indo-Bangladesh protocol routes.

The company in recent times is sending 25 MT of TMT bars to Silchar (Assam) from Kolkata, through the use of multi-modal transportation. The cargo will move from Kolkata port (now called, Syama Prasad Mookerjee port) to Chittagong port in Bangladesh; and then sent to Assam through the Sheola-Sutarkhandi land customs station border points.

With this move, the transportation time to N—E will be halved. In March and April, Tata steel has brought in heavy machinery for expansion at its Kalinganagar plant in Odisha. Nearly 1,000 cubic meters (CBM) of four super over dimensional assembled cargo (SODCs), each weighing up to 100 metric tonnes were shipped. These were part of its slag granulation plant that was being set up.

Tata steels consignment sailed in a chartered vessel from Shanghai to Paradip port in Odisha, the company said in a previous statement. At Paradeep, it was loaded on a barge that travelled up Luna River and then unloaded in Kendrapara. From there it was transported using the road.

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