A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of a multimodal logistics park (MMLP) at Jalna in Maharashtra was announced on Wednesday by National Highways Logistics Management and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
The construction will serve as a stimulus for the growth of the Marathwada region, according to Nitin Gadkari, Union Transport and Highways minister, who spoke at the occasion.
The development will serve as the region's operational dry port linking the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridors with Samruddhi Marg. The minister also said that Jalna will become the Marathwada region's automobile hub and that the infrastructure will encourage export of agricultural products. The state’s current auto hubs are the Pune-Chakan belt which is home to some of the biggest names in the auto sector including Bajaj Auto, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors. The Aurangabad belt is another hub with the likes of Varroc Engineering.
According to Gadkari, the Centre has authorised the development of 35 multimodal logistics parks (MMLPs) as part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana with the aim to centralise freight consolidation and reduce logistics costs from 14 percent of GDP to less than 10 percent at par with international standards, while also connecting all modes of transportation, including roads, rail, water, and air.
In addition to Jalna, Maharashtra is anticipated to have eight additional multi-modal logistics parks in Ratnagiri, Bhiwandi, Akola, Sangli, Jalgaon, Solapur, and Nasik. The land will be made available by the state government.
The logistics parks will be designed to provide multiple functionalities, notably freight aggregation and distribution, and to enable seamless intermodal transportation. Operators of these facilities will also get services like customs clearances and IT services, as well as storage and warehousing options.
A reputed economist Pradeep Apte was, a couple of years ago, quoted as saying that the Vidarbha-Marathwada belt requires better road and rail connectivity, which will mobilise resources and products and create a market. The east-west connectivity between Marathwada and Vidarbha with western Maharashtra needs to be strengthened, Apte was quoted as saying in a media report.
PM Modi launches National Logistics Policy, urges cost reduction from 13-14% to single digit