The Centre has prioritised swift development of modern Multi Modal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) through a tripartite agreement signed among Roads, Shipping, and Railway Ministries on Wednesday.
An official statement said this agreement has been signed by National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML), Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL). The three will jointly develop MMLPs under Bharatmala Pariyojna across the country with an object to centralise freight consolidation and reduce logistics cost from 14% to less than 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at par with International Standards.
Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that this agreement will facilitate seamless modal shift. “MMLPs will ensure that cargo is swapped or shifted from and to Waterways, Dedicated Freight Corridors and Road Transport,” he noted.
Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that the agreement proposes to put the letter and spirit of Bharatmala Pariyojana into effect. “MMLPs are designed to untie the cobweb of logistics movement and enliven the logistics sector to put the economy into the fast lane of growth,” he added.
An official statement noted that a MMLP will be a freight handling facility with rail and road accessibility. It will also comprise of container terminals, cargo terminals (bulk, break-bulk), warehouses, cold storage, and facilities for mechanised material handling.
Value-added services such as customs clearance with bonded storage yards, quarantine zones, testing facilities and warehousing management services among others will feature along with other associated facilities.
The MMLPs are developed under a ‘Hub & Spoke’ model and will integrate multiple modes of freight transport through highways, railways and inland waterways.
“Many value added services like packaging, repackaging and labelling will be available in these projects,” the statement added.