Reported by Sandeep Pattnaik
Bhubaneswar, June 27:
India should build adequate logistics infrastructure in road, rail and waterways to accommodate a possible three-fold increase in freight movement over the coming decade, Odisha Governor Dr S C Jamir said on the sidelines of a conference on “Logistics Millennium 2014- Avenues, Prospects, Challenges : Port Corridor” organized by Confederation of Indian Industries-Odisha Chapter here on Friday.
“The existing logistics infrastructure is insufficient and not equipped fully to support the expected growth rates of 7-8 percent over the next decade,” Jamir said adding, “the growth in freight traffic will further increase the pressure on the Country’s infrastructure.”
Dr Jamir stressed on developing rail and waterways rather than depending excessively on the road transport which accounts for a higher share of freight traffic in the country.
“Road transport that comprises bulk material and moves over long distances can be more economically served by rail and waterways. Further, the higher dependence on road transport is adverse for the environment as it produces high carbon emissions,” Jamir said.
Pointing out the long coast line of around 480 kilometers and the vast mineral resources Odisha has, Jamir emphasized on drawing more investment from private players on supply chain management, especially in the port sector.
“Ports in the East Coast are expected to play a significant role in the growth of the Indian port sector, with the share of traffic expected to increase from 23% in 2010 to 34% in 2014 driven by rising trade with other Asian economies,” he added.
It is to be noted that, logistics infrastructure has been tripled from around USD 10 billion in 2003 to USD 30 billion in 2014. Despite this increase, the country’s network of roads, rail and waterways will be insufficient as freight movement increases by three times in the coming decade , something which will put India’s growth at risk.
Experts present on the occasion also stressed on framing of a National Integrated Logistic Policy for the sector in the coming days
The other dignitaries present were minister of Industry Debiprasad Mishra, special secretary, Commerce & Transport S.Mohapatra, Chairman, CII Odisha State Council & Chairman cum Managing Director NALCO Anshuman Das, Vice Chairman, CII Odisha State Council , Chairman Paradip Port Trust SS Mishra, CEO, The Dhamra Port Company Ltd Santosh Kumar Mohapatra.
The conference was organized to explore the avenues for the growth of the logistics and ports sector in Odisha. The event provided a platform for the government and industry to brainstorm on issues that are hampering the growth of the sector in the state.