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CCI should pay losses in ICD fire incurred by exporters – EPCH
12
Apr '10
Handicrafts products worth over Rs 60 crore (approx.) were gutted in a major fire at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Tughlakabad, New Delhi,.

“The ICD is always over congested as more than 400 containers of goods are always stored there as against the capacity of 200 containers of goods only. These containers carry approx. 30 per cent handicrafts, approx. 50 per cent garments and approx. 20 per cent Miscellaneous goods. Each container values between Rs 10 lakh to Rs One crore. There is massive damage to the goods,” said Mr. Raj Kumar Malhotra, Chairman of the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) after visiting the ICD.

At least there would be an estimated damage to the tune of Rs 200 crore in this fire and a heavy export loss, as all records are burnt and cancellation of export orders. There is an incentive loss to the Exporters also in the absence of records at the ICD, Mr Malhotra said and added that overall, there would be a huge foreign exchange loss in the absence of these exports.

He also mentioned there were no proper precautionary fire fighting measures at the ICD, like storage of water to meet such situation and improper electrical fitting which may have caused the short circuit responsible for such a disaster.

EPCH demanded that Container Corporation of India (CCI) should pay the losses incurred by exporters without any inquiry and delay on the basis of the shipping bill submitted by the exporters as the CONCOR has the full insurance of the ICD. “Handicrafts is a small scale business and many fellow exporters have very limited capital. This loss will affect heavily on small exporters and may even lead to closure of their businesses.”

Mr. Malhotra said that he also met Mr. Deepak Kapoor, Chief Manager, CONCOR, who informed that CONCOR is fully insured. He has also assured that all claims of the exporters will be paid after getting insurance money and will be passed on to the exporters.

Mr. Malhotra also urged the Government to direct the CCI to pay the claims by exporters and open an enquiry window or claim settlement counter immediately.

The fire broke out at the ICD in the wee hours around 0545 hrs in the export warehouse and quickly spread to the cargo stored there for completion of customs formalities and other procedures. At least 30 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames which took several three hours to control the fire.

EXPORT PROMOTION COUNCIL FOR HANDICRAFTS


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