Greater participation of railways needed to meet auto logistics demand: SIAM

New Delhi: The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday called for greater participation of the Indian railways and waterways authority to meet the transportation demand of the auto sector.

Abhay Firodia, President, SIAM and Chairman, Force Motors said that the Indian railways has been a major catalyst and “a lever in transformation of our country”. He spoke at the 4th SIAM Automotive Logistics Conclave which was held here.

“It has the power to move things, people and freight, which have huge impact on efficiency and cost,” asserted Firodia.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani, who was the chief guest at the conclave said that his organisation will spare no effort in meeting the auto industry’s logistics needs.

“We want private investments in this segment. We have a scheme of entering in long term partnerships. The long term contract agreement will help reduce logistic cost,” Lohani explained.

“We understand that the manufacturing of vehicles has gone up and so the requirement of logistics is crucial for the sector. Automobiles are symptom of how our economy is doing.”

Currently, the railways’ share in transportation of automotive units like cars stands at 4-5 per cent.

According to Inland Waterways Authority of India’s Member, (Technical) S.K Gangwar movement of cargo through waterways is more economical than road, especially for long distances.”

Gangawar informed that currently cars can be transported through waterways but not vehicles like trucks.

India has a navigable length of around 14,500 km, of which 5,200 km of river and 4,000 km of canals can be used for water transportation.

However, the total cargo moved in the country is just about 0.1 per cent of the total inland traffic in India, while it is over 20 per cent in the US.