Maersk, Indian Railways at odds over missed payments
Maersk India, a subsidiary of the group that operates the world's largest container line, is said to have defaulted on $20.5 million in payments owed to the Indian Railways, the Times of India reported Wednesday.
The payments, the report said, relate to a stake Maersk has in a 270-kilometer rail line in the western state of Gujarat. Indian Railways is the other partner in the joint venture, but is alleging that Maersk has failed to pay 'traffic guarantee default payments and other charges over the last four years.'
The report suggests that Maersk asked the railways to defer these penalty charges to 2011-2012, promising to bring in the requisite traffic by then, but the railways have rejected the request.
The venture is one of a handful of public-private rail partnerships the Indian Railways set up to take advantage of an expected boom in container traffic, some of which has yet to fully materialize due to crippling infrastructure chokepoints