The government will develop 35 Multimodal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) in the country, which will bring down the logistics costs to a great extent and help the country's economy, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.The Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping was speaking here at the inauguration of the India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit (IITLS), which aims to facilitate constructive dialogue for the development of multimodal infrastructure in the country."We have identified 36 ring roads in the country that will have logistics parks. We have also consulted several stakeholders for the projects," Gadkari said.According to the minister, MMLPs will serve 50 per cent of the freight movements, enable 10 per cent reduction in transportation costs and 12 per cent cut in C02 emissions.For the MMLPs, land parcels have been identified and pre-feasibility studies initiated at six of these locations, he said.The parks will be developed jointly by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), other para-statals and the respective state governments, Gadkari said."The government is also working to formulate a uniform policy for the development of MMLPs," he added.The three-day summit, which ends on May 5, will see different agencies, both public and private, mooting multimodal infrastructure in the country through close coordination between various agencies involved in planning and developing transport infrastructure.
Talking about the set-up of several new ports and utilisation of rivers for waterways to reduce the logistic cost, Gadkari said the government has decided to convert 11 rivers into waterways. A statement from the ministry said that the global summit provided a platform to logistics service providers, concessionaires, end-users and investors to discuss the modalities for bringing about a transformation in the logistic and transportation scenario in India. Stating that there was an urgent need to improve logistics costs in India, the ministry in its statement said that currently India has very poor Logistics Performance Index due to an unfavourable modal mix of transport and a lack of seamless intermodal connectivity."The IITLS is envisaged as a platform for all stakeholders in transport and logistics sectors to come together and initiate collaborative partnerships to realise the various greenfield and brownfield opportunities in logistic parks, freight corridors and IT solutions," it added.A recent study, "Logistics Efficiency Enhancement Programme (LEEP)", undertaken by the ministry, has "identified our key solution themes to improve the state of logistics in India, which are freight corridor upgradation, logistics park development, seamless interstate movement and electronic toll collection systems"."These initiatives are expected to reduce India's logistics costs and bring them closer to the accepted global benchmarks from the current high levels of 13-14 per cent of GDP," said the study.