Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has been awarded the project to build India’s first multimodal logistics park (MMLP) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. A crucial cog in the Centre’s logistics overhaul, the MMLP will be spread over 184 acres and cost Rs 1,424 crore, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) said.
The ministry added that the project will get adequate connecting infrastructure support through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed between central and state agencies.
“The SPV will provide 4 lane national highway connectivity of 5.4 kilometres (km) with an estimated cost of Rs 104 Crore and a new rail siding to the MMLP site of 10.5 Km with an estimated cost of Rs 217 Crore,” MoRTH said.
RIL emerged as the winning bidder for the public-private-partnership (PPP) project, with its own investment pegged at Rs 783 crore. The Centre expects the first phase of the project to be completed in two years.
“MMLP at Chennai which is strategically located 52 Km from Chennai Port, 80 Km from Ennore Port, and 87 Km from Katupalli Airport will be a focal point of logistics in the southern region. It is estimated to cater to 7.17 Million Metric Tonne (MMT) cargo in a horizon period of 45 years,” according to MoRTH.
The project would likely be monitored by the highest levels of the government, as it falls under the high-priority list of projects inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the Centre’s project monitoring system. Moreover, it is one of the several flagship projects announced under the Bharatmala Project of MoRTH, which envisions the building of 35 such MMLPs.
The Centre plans to build 15 of these within the next two years. Under the National Logistics Policy (NLP) and PM-GatiShakti, it wants to bring down logistics costs to under 10 per cent of the GDP in a bid to make exports competitive and supply chains more efficient.
MMLPs, if executed as planned, will be a much-awaited solution for India’s logistics woes. These will act as centres for freight aggregation and distribution, storage and warehousing, providing added incentives to logistics companies such as customs clearances. These parks will also facilitate intermodal transportation – roads, railways, and inland waterways, with the aim of strengthening and diversifying the logistics system.