New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): India's national transporter Indian Railways has set the target to develop around 500 new multi-modal cargo terminals under the rime Minister's Gati Shakti programme with an investment of approximately Rs 50,000 crore in the next five years, said Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Govt of India on October 14, 2021.
Minister said that there will be multi-modal passenger terminals with complete and seamless integration of all modes of transport.
"As per the plan, different modes of transportation like waterways, airlines, and roadways will be integrated with the rail network. For example, steps will be taken to provide rail links to connect all airports," said Vaishnaw. He said that the details of the plans will be out in the near future.
Speaking to media personnel, Vaishnaw said:
They are hopeful of completing the development of 200 multi-modal cargo terminals in the next three years. This will boost the bulk cargo transport by the railways, which is the biggest source of revenue for the national transporter.
“There is a clear focus to give a new direction to infrastructure development and logistics movement in the country under the Gati Shakti programme. The intention is to reduce logistics cost, which is about 13% of the GDP. The reduction in logistics cost will bring competition and will also bring down the costs,” said Vaishnaw.
Vaishnaw said that one of the major contributions of railways will be integrating the laying of fibre IT network all along the railway lines. “From now onwards, all our planning and execution will have a multi-modal approach,” he added.
On October 13, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “PM Gati Shakti — National Master Plan” for infrastructure development aimed at boosting multimodal connectivity and driving down logistics costs in India.
PM GatiShakti is a digital platform that connects 16 ministries including Roads and Highways, Railways, Shipping, Petroleum and Gas, Power, Telecom, Shipping, and Aviation with a view to ensuring holistic planning and execution of infrastructure projects in the country.