More wagons will have to be allotted to our industry to cut costs

More wagons will have to be allotted to our industry to cut costs

Narendra Patel, Chairperson, Indian Concrete Technology

How do you evaluate logistics in cement industry?
Logistics for transporting cement costs around Rs 30-40 per bag. Though the cost varies according to the distance and has always been the major issue.

What are functional bottlenecks?
The geographical conditions in India differ from place to place and cement gets affected by humidity. Thus, bottlenecks are handy since they prevent the damage of cement, due to atmospheric conditions.

The cement industry faces shortage of wagons what would you say about it?
Yes, we do face paucity since defense is given the first priority; second priority is given to transportation of food grains. We are given the third priority. If cement cost is to be saved more wagons will have to be allotted to our industry.

What is your estimate of losses due to prevalent evacuation system?
This depends on the conditions of the country. Right now road transport has also become very costly due to hike in the prices of fuel. So we need a strong road network.

What is the preferred mode of transport of cement?
Preferences change according to the distance and place to be covered. If the distance is more definitely one opts for railways, if the distance is less and needs quick delivery, one opts for road transport since it is faster and travels point to point.

Railways haul about 40 per cent of cement, what are the bottlenecks?
Each rail has about 70- 80 wagons; hence more wagons should be allotted to ensure faster transport.

What are the new challenges in road transport?
The main challenge in road transport is the pathetic road conditions and the lack of network which needs to be worked on. The networks should be extended from manufacturer to consumers. The main cause of delay is the pothole roads which need to be repaired on an urgent basis.

What is the focus on logistics going ahead?
The government in today is cash strapped thus the companies have entered CPP agreement wherein the costs are recovered by toll taxes. The major difficulty in toll tax is, that its a long process and maintenance is difficult. Jointly companies and the government will have to take some steps for the same.

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