Centre to develop logistics parks in 35 clusters

As many as 35 clusters, accounting for half the total freight movement, have been identified for building logistics parks to improve the existing transportation and warehousing scenario in the country.

Of the total number of proposed logistics parks, 15 would be developed across states including Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

The proposed parks would reduce transportation cost by 10 per cent for the industries in the 35 clusters, thereby enabling freight movement on higher sized trucks and rail, Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari told Business Standard.

Locations for development of Multimodal Logistics Parks have been prioritized based on the level of production and consumption activity in a particular city, as measured by the total freight flows from a city, the quality of road and rail connectivity to the city and the importance of the city in the international trade, he said.

Country's first multimodal logistics park would come up in the next two years.

"Given the scale of the investment and the complexities involved, the timelines are challenging. However, we are confident of achieving this timeline," Gadkari said.

Increased freight movement on higher sized trucks and rail will result in reduction in freight vehicles. In addition, shifting warehouses and wholesale markets, currently being operated inside the city, to logistics parks would free up urban spaces and it would further reduce warehousing costs.

NHAI will be the nodal agency for the development of the first set of Multimodal Logistics Parks, it would form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with the State Governments. Within the SPV, the State Governments are expected to provide the land for the development of Multimodal Logistics Parks and NHAI will be responsible for developing the required trunk infrastructure, in collaboration with railways and other ministries/ authorities (IWAI, aviation, etc.) as required.

Primary role of the Central Government authorities would be to develop dedicated trunk infrastructure connectivity -- highway, Railway, port connectivity to the location of the Multimodal Logistics Parks.

State Government shall lead the process of land acquisition for the development of the logistics parks and the associated infrastructure needed. The logistics parks would be developed and operated by private players.

Increased freight movement on higher sized trucks and rail will enable 12% reduction in carbon emissions in Phase I.

Two cities - Chennai and Vijayawada - have already identified land parcels for development of logistics parks. Pre-feasibility study will be initiated in these two cities soon.

Meanwhile, in order to improve the efficiency of freight movement in the country and to ensure a seamless, well-connected India improving the efficiency of the existing freight corridors and building new ones is the need of the hour, the official said.

The potential benefits of the proposed corridors would include increased average speed of freight vehicles plying on the national corridors, which is expected to increase by 10% once the choke points on the corridor are removed.

Out of the network of 56,000 km, NHAI has identified 32,000 km which require intervention. Out of this, the process of bidding out work for DPR (detailed project report) preparation has already been initiated for 14,000 km, and the rest of the network will be taken up subsequently.

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