New Delhi [India], Nov. 5 (ANI): Furthering the Centre's commitment towards providing world class transport and logistics infrastructure to support the growth of economic activity, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari stated that 44 Economic Corridors and 24 Multi Modal Logistics Parks have been planned under the Government's flagship 'Bharatmala' programme to facilitate efficient movement of freight along routes of economic importance.
Addressing a session on 'Opportunity in Infrastructure, Logistics Technology and Equipment' in the World Food India 2017 conference here on Saturday, Gadkari claimed that the implementation of these projects is expected to bolster growth of the food processing industry.
"The Multi Modal Logistics Parks are being planned as centers of freight aggregation with warehousing, cold storage and other such facilities. These parks will be built on NH outside cities, so they will help reduce traffic congestion and also reduce pollution. Work has already begun for setting up Logistics Parks at Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Vijaywada, Surat and Guwahati. The Economic Corridors and Multi Modal Logistics Parks will facilitate faster movement of farm produce to food processing centres and to markets. This will raise the income of farmers, give a boost to the food processing industry and create a large number of jobs," said Gadkari.
"The rate of construction of National Highways has gathered considerable momentum. The country had just 96,000 km of NH three years back, but this has grown to nearly 1.7 lakh km, and will soon reach a length of 2 lakh km. This will provide more farmers in remote areas with access to markets for their produce," he added.
On the waterways front, Gadkari stated that 14 Coastal Economic Zones have been planned under the Sagarmala programme, with two mega food processing parks planned at Kakinada and Satara at a cost of Rs 140 Crores. This, he said, will support fishermen to develop their skills and raise their productivity.
In addition to this, Gadkari said 111 waterways are being developed as National Waterways, which will reduce logistics costs, thus benefiting the food processing industry. The development of River Ganga and Brahmaputra for transport will also make it easier to move local produce to Bangladesh, he said.
"The efficiency of the 12 major ports has been growing rapidly, and they have been making profits consistenty over the last three years. Dry ports are being developed at Jalna, Vidarbha and Nasik to begin with. The availability of ports will give a boost to movement of goods," he said.
In addition to developing the road and water transport infrastructure, Gadkari said the government is also giving priority to developing micro or drip irrigation in the water deficient regions of the country. 13 river linking projects are also on the anvil, of which three will be done within three months. All these projects, Gadkari said, will improve the availability and utilisation of water and raise agricultural productivity. (ANI)