In order to expand its cargo handling ecosystem riding on the new liberalized land-lease policy, the Railways has already identified its 250 hectares (ha) of land in 62 locations across the country, with 300 new speeds in the next five years. Shakti Cargo Terminal. years.
According to internal calculations by officials, each cargo terminal generates an additional Rs 100 crore revenue – the national transporter is eyeing a revenue of around Rs 30,000 crore in about five years’ time enabled by the web of cargo terminals.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said that more than 90 companies are ready to set up cargo terminals and around 65 more have expressed interest.
The railway has 62,000 hectares of vacant land, but much of it is narrow strips running parallel to the tracks. Elaborating on the policy, Vaishnav said it was needed with the ultimate aim of reducing logistics cost in India.
“Imaginatively, if all goods are transported by road, the logistics cost would be around 17-18 per cent of GDP. Similarly, if all the goods went by rail, this figure would have come down to around 6-7 per cent. That’s the difference. For the first time in decades, the share of railways in freight traffic has increased since last year. We need to encourage this change to reduce the logistics cost in the economy. Cargo terminals are important in that context,” he told reporters on Thursday, a day after the Union Cabinet approved long-term lease of railway land at affordable rates.
The minister said the new policy has nothing to do with the proposed disinvestment of market leader CONCOR by a large margin in the rail cargo handling business.
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Vaishnav said his ministry is also working on a plan to set up hospitals on railway land along with cargo terminals. The policy enables setting up of hospitals in public-private partnership (PPP) mode at a nominal rate of Re 1 per square meter for 60 years, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.
“Many good hospitals have shown interest in this. The idea is that wherever there is vacant land adjacent to the stations, we can think of setting up good hospitals there for the benefit of the local population,” he said.
The policy also stipulates that in exceptional, unavoidable circumstances, the Railways may take back the leased land for its own use, such as for multi-tracking and other operational requirements. In such cases, it will give adequate notice as well as compensation based on the lessee’s investment.