Gati Shakti Expansion: Railways Aims For 200 Multi-Modal Cargo Terminals Nationwide

V Bhagya Subhashini

May 01, 2024, 02:03 PM | Updated 01:56 PM IST

A multi-modal cargo terminal. (X)
A multi-modal cargo terminal. (X)

In a promising development, the Indian Railways is poised to surpass its target of establishing 100 Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals (GCT) ahead of schedule.

About 60 terminals, operating under public-private partnership (PPP) mode, are already operational, with the remaining 40 slated for completion by the end of the current fiscal year.

"The target for Gati Shakti Terminals will subsequently be elevated to 200 terminals once the initial 100 are fully operational," revealed a senior official.

The central government had set a goal of establishing 100 Gati Shakti Terminals in the Union Budget 2022-23, with a stipulated timeline of five years for their implementation.

These ambitious endeavours align closely with the overarching strategy to promote the containerisation of domestic cargo, thereby facilitating a greater proportion of cargo movement via railways. Notably, an investment totalling Rs 5,374 crore has already been injected into the establishment of operational Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals.

Addressing freight priorities for the Indian Railways, the official emphasised the importance of prioritising weighty goods such as coal and cement over voluminous items like electronics and clothing.

"The Railways aims to incentivise containerisation of volumetric cargo to streamline handling processes and enhance operational efficiency," the official added, reports Economic Times.

Presently, weighty goods are primarily transported via dedicated freight trains, whereas voluminous cargo is often accommodated alongside passengers in smaller quantities.

However, the envisioned shift towards widespread containerisation holds the promise of enabling the Indian Railways to efficiently transport volume goods in larger quantities through meticulously planned services, heralding a new era of efficiency and productivity in freight logistics.

Gati Shakti Terminals

Gati Shakti Terminals serve as pivotal hubs for the handling of bulk cargo by corporate entities with strong ties to the Indian Railways. Operating exclusively for non-passenger commercial purposes such as freight transportation, these terminals are established under a new policy framework aimed at leveraging vacant railway land for monetisation.

Indian Railways has introduced simplified processes for Railway Connectivity Terminals to streamline approvals. These measures include waiving departmental charges, land licence fees, and commercial staff costs.

Railway will construct and maintain common-user traffic facilities. Terminals with significant outward traffic will receive a 10 per cent freight rebate. Railway bears maintenance costs, except for specific lines. It retains the right to grant connectivity to other terminals. These initiatives aim to expedite approvals and foster efficient terminal operations.

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