The Shipping Ministry has approved the
development of Rs 156 crore freight village in Varanasi adjoining the Inland
Waterways Terminal on River Ganga. The Varanasi freight village will be
developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India.. It will serve as a cargo hub, and a
centre for aggregation and value addition.
It will also provide support to stimulate development of a
professional logistics industry in Varanasi.
village is a designated area where facilities for various modes of
transportation, distribution of goods and other logistics are available in a
synchronized manner on a large scale.The main function of freight villages is
management and utilization of
various modes of transport, synergizing them and decongesting the existing mode
Freight villages are basically cargo aggregators which offer various
logistic choices to a shipper/ cargo owner; i.e. choice of rail-road;
rail-waterway; road-waterway. The choice is based on the optimal/ lowest
logistic cost that can be derived by the shipper/ cargo owner. Delivery and coordination of various freight
related activities under one roof ensures ease of doing business and makes it
possible to realize high truck capacity due to which economic efficiency and
activity of the enterprises on site can be improved.
World Bank pre-feasibility study has found Varanasi to be a suitable site for
the freight village. The city is located strategically and is a focal point in
the logistics chain of Eastern Transport Corridor of India where the National
Waterways-1, Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC), National Highway-7 and
National Highway-2 pass through. The volume of traffic on inland waterway to
Varanasi is expected to increase with the commissioning of the multi modal
terminal being built under the Jal Marg Vikas project.
estimated volume of traffic for Varanasi multi modal terminal is 3.55 Million Metric
Tons by 2020; 3.82 MMT by 2025; 10.12 MMT by 2035; and 10.32 MMT by 2045. Vessels
with capacity of up to 2000 DWT would be able to berth at the IWTmulti modal
terminal that will have the infrastructure facilities required to handle this
expected increase in the volume of cargo traffic from JMVP and EDFC through
freight village is proposed to be developed over a land area of about 100
acres, which will be acquired in two phases - 70 acres in first phase and 30
acres in second phase at a total estimated cost of Rs 120 Crores. Another
pre-investment cost of Rs 45 crores is expected to be incurred on soft aspects
of the projects such as procurement of consultancy service and operation of
project management unit.
IWAI will own the land of the freight village, but part of it will be leased to
logistics companies and waterways related manufacturing and trading companies
at prices to be fixed as per market conditions and on terms and conditions to
be framed, to set up their own business. The freight village can potentially
cater to a diverse cargo profile including containers, bulk and break-bulk
cargo, liquid bulk and bagged cargo.