The much-needed Inland Container Depot (ICD) to handle import-export cargo from Saurashtra has hit another roadblock.
After long delay in land allocation, the project envisaged in 2017, is now stuck in the dispute over price of land parcel. The Container Corporation of India (Concor), which is setting up this ICD, has been asked to deposit Rs 385 crore for 1.25 lakh sq m land in Parapipalia near Khandheri cricket stadium on Jamnagar Road.
Concor, however, shot off a letter to the Rajkot district administration stating that the price of Rs 385 crore is way to exorbitant and it would make the project unviable. This price includes stamp duty, registration fees and conversion charges.
Concor, the company working under railway ministry, had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government during Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit-2017 to invest Rs 100 crore for developing the ICD. This facility has been a long-pending demand of Saurashtra’s industry specially Rajkot, Jamnagar and Morbi.
In a letter, Concor chief general manager, north western region, Madhukar Roat, stated, “The land allotment was expected at a very nominal cost so that the project can become viable and beneficial to Rajkot/Saurashtra export-import trade community.” TOI is in the possession of this letter.
Citing example of Andhra Pradesh government, which has given land at Rs 1,000 per acre for 60 years, Roat suggested that Rajkot collector adopt suitable ‘modus operandi’.
The letter stated, “The present cost of land is likely to make the complete project commercial unviable. We believe that suitable alternative need to be worked out sooner at your end for initiation of the project.”
At present, the cargo from whole of Saurashtra is being transported via roads to Mundra and Kandla ports for export. As per the Rajkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI)’s feasibility report submitted to state government, average 4,000 containers are exported from Saurashtra and 1,500 containers aer imported.
Vice president of RCCI, Parth Ganatra, said, “An ICD here will ease many problems of exporters and importers. If state government doesn’t provide land at reasonable rates, exporters and importers have to pay very high handling charges.” District collector Rahul Gupta said, “The price has been fixed by District Level Pricing Committee. We have received the representation of Concor, but it’s not in our preview to reduce the price. We will forward their concerns to the state government.”