Cochin container freight station may open this year
Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 31:
Kerala State Industrial Enterprises (KSIE), the full-service export house of the State Government, expects to commission the Rs 47-crore Cochin International Container Freight Station (CFS) at Kalamassery, near Ernakulam.
Work on the project is now in advanced stages of completion, according to Mr Febi Varghese, Managing Director, KSIE.
The CFS would have a built-up area of 16,000 sq ft and feature a Customs-bonded cargo handling centre that is capable of handling 1,000 containers at a given time.
A multi-purpose export cargo handling centre admeasuring to more than one lakh sq ft in area would be another major attraction at the CFS.
The CFS is expected to play a key role in controlling the movement of freight in and around the Kochi port that has shot into prominence with the commissioning of the Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal in the neighbourhood.
According to Mr Varghese, KSIE proposes to tie up with Indian Oil Corporation and set up petrol pumps at Thiruvananthapuram, Kalamassery and Kozhikode during the course of this year.
It also plans to take up the operation of courier cargo services at the Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode international airports as part of a special arrangement with Airports Authority of India.
A KSIE Vision-2020 document, currently under preparation, seeks to prepare a time-bound action plan and spell out short-term and long-term strategies to implementing the same with the support of employees, Mr Varghese said.
KSIE was set up as a holding company under the Department of Industries in 1973 and had entered the field of managing air cargo complexes five years down the line.
The company has been paying annual dividend ever since, and netted a profit of Rs 6.20 crore during 2010-11.
The first half-year during the current financial year saw it net a 30 per cent rise in profit compared to the corresponding period a year ago.
The Thiruvananthapuram air cargo terminal exports 80 tonnes a day and ranks first in south India in handling ‘perishable cargo.'
The Kozhikode cargo complex, which used to deal with four tonnes in 2002, has grown in turnover volumes and clocks 40 tonnes on a daily basis.
KSIE proposes to set up a cold storage at Kozhikode at a cost of Rs 1.65 crore.
Mr Varghese said that in Thiruvananthapuram, KSIE was able to set up a full-fledged export terminal within 60 days of commissioning of the new international airport at Chakkai, closer to the city.