Union minister Nitin Gadkari took stock of the progress of work to set up multi-modal logistics parks across the country and asked officials to draw up a schedule for timely completion of the 34 projects.
The road transport and highways minister also reviewed the status of 34 memorandum of understandings (MoUs) amounting to about Rs 2 lakh crore which were signed during the India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit held in May this year, an official statement said.
In the meeting attended by senior officials of the highways and shipping ministries, state governments, land port authorities, NHAI, NHIDCL, CONCOR, DFCCIL and DMIC, the minister directed that a lead agency should be identified for each of the 34 projects, to act as its head.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will be the apex monitoring authority. Gadkari also said the location of multi-modal logistics parks should be selected outside the city limits and care should be taken that it does not in any way create any inconvenience to the general public. This, he said, would not only decongest the cities but also bring down pollution.
Gadkari suggested that efforts should be made to persuade big godowns of various agencies which are currently situated inside cities to shift to the logistics parks. If this is done larger trucks can have access to the godowns than is possible within congested city limits. This will help curb pollution to a considerable extent, an official statement said.
The Minister further directed that the project should focus on facilitating a favourable modal mix of transport. Inland waterways may be used if possible. Otherwise railways should be the preferred mode of transport since it is more cost effective and less polluting that road transport.
The objective of the India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit was to make freight transportation in the country more efficient by facilitating the use of a favourable modal mix of transport, thereby reducing logistics costs and also pollution.
This is proposed to be done by developing 35 multi-modal logistics parks to serve as centres for freight aggregation and distribution, multi-modal transportation, storage, warehousing and value added services, besides construction of 50 economic corridors, upgrading key feeder and inter corridor routes and constructing 10 inter-modal stations to integrate various transportation modes.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has also formulated a draft policy for development of multi-modal logistics parks. It was decided to place this on its website to seek comments from stakeholders. Of the 34 MoUs signed during the India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit, 27 were G2G (govt-to-govt) and the remaining in the private sector. Today’s meeting was to review the progress of the G2G MoUs. Thirteen of these pertained to development of multi-modal logistics parks in the states of Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Haryana.
The remaining MoUs were regarding developing land ports and integrated check posts in Tripura, Assam, Mizoram, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur; port road connectivity in Chennai and Vishakhapatnam ports besides 21 small ports of Sagarmala; use of dredged material for highway and other construction work and development of connectivity between Amramarg to the proposed Navi Mumbai airport.