KOCHI: In what could be a major boost to the infrastructure of Kochi, the Railways is eying to set up an automobile storage and export unit at the Mattancherry wharf here.
The proposal, mooted by the Railway Board, has been brought before the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) for discussion. The Mattancharry wharf belongs to the CPT, and boasts of a railway line.
On Thursday, the Railway Board’s infrastructure advisor Gireesh Pillai visited the proposed site, and told the Railway officials to earmark the space available for the Railways to join hands with the CPT to start the plant.
According to Railway sources, the wharf that is connected by a railway line can bring in automobiles and automotive parts from the other parts of the country. From there, the automobiles can be transported by ship to the African countries.
“Currently, Africa is a good market for Indian products, especially automobiles. Many Chinese products have failed to catch the African market, unlike the Indian products that have a good market there. Officials said that Kochi was the ideal location for setting up the unit,” the sources added.
Also, since the Railways is having dedicated containers to transport automobiles the project could be successful. Railway officials claimed that many automobile companies had expressed interest.
Meanwhile, the officials noted that the project plan was only at the initial stage. “However, if there is sufficient willpower and if the Cochin Port Trust is also interested the project it could become a reality, the officials added.