N Rly directed to recover wagon maintenance dues from Adani

N Rly directed to recover wagon maintenance dues from Adani

The Ministry of Railways has asked Northern Railway to enter into a retrospective agreement and recover maintenance charges on wagons owned by Adani Agri Logistics (AAL).

The wagon maintenance dues are to be collected from October 2008, when the logistics firm had started moving the specially designed wagons for Food Corporation of India (FCI).

AAL, which owned special types of wagons to carry food grains, had an agreement with FCI since 2006. The Railways was not a part of the agreement.

An internal railway report in 2014 found that maintenance charges were not paid for these wagons and sought these charges from AAL. Following this, AAL had sought the court, and subsequently, the Delhi High Court decided that the firm would have to pay the charges.

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Signing a retrospective agreement with AAL will help Railways enforce the court order. The details from a Railways Board note does not make it explicitly clear whether maintenance charges were paid after 2014.

All commercial instructions for dealing with goods traffic, including that for private siding (rail linked cargo handling station), will be applicable as per the terms of the agreement.

Routine maintenance costs, periodic overhauling, regular overhauling, and repairs due to normal wear and tear will be charged at 5% of capital costs of wagons a year. This excludes special components procured by AAL.

AAL will also have to bear charges for wagon repairs arising out of reasons other than accidents, the Indian Railways has clarified.

In case of an accident, the repair cost shall be borne by AAL depending on who is responsible for the accident as per the inquiry report.

AAL had been granted rail transport clearance for constructing private siding at Elavur (Chennai), Moga (Punjab), Kaithal (Haryana), Madukkaral (Coimbatore), Oddarahalli (Bengaluru), Bandel (Hooghly), and Taloja (Navi Mumbai) railway stations for outward movement of wheat and paddy.

Image: Adani Agri and FCI have been in an agreement since 2016 for handling grain silos.

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