INDIA will have to wait longer to have its first freight village as the Inland Waterways Authority of India's (IWAI) idea to have a subordinate body to undertake the execution of such projects has been turned down by the shipping ministry.
The IWA is the nodal agency for national waterways, is engaged in the execution and facilitation of multimodal transportation.
A freight village is a specialised industrial estate for attracting companies in need of logistic services. It can also cluster to improve their competitiveness. The concept will bring retailers, warehouse operators and logistic service providers together. This concept is modelled on the projects that are prevalent in Europe, reports New Delhi's Business Standard.
'Earlier, the IWA was of the idea that a subordinate body or wing under its aegis would be created to focus only on the freight village, but the central government is not in favour of that idea. It feels IWI itself should do the needful,' an official said.
Creation of a separate wing would have fast-tracked execution of freight villages as a dedicated body/wing would have coordinated with the stakeholders including state governments for land acquisition, a major component of such villages, and would have taken the pressure off IWA.
The authority, on the other hand, would have been able to focus more on the implementation of waterways projects and other multi-modal transportation assignments on hand. According to an expert, a project of this magnitude would take two years for implementation. However, with no dedicated body in sight for project execution, it may take longer for such a village to come up.
Multi-modal transportation is the way cargo is shipped from factory to customer by using more than one means of transport.
The ongoing construction of the Varanasi terminal, which will have waterways, rail and road connectivity, is part of the government's Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP). However, the freight village is an independent concept and is not part of the JMVP.