Guwahati, October 21 (IANS): Indias first Rs 694 crore international Multi-Modal Logistic Park (MMLP) would be set up at Jogighopa in western Assam under the Bharatmala Project of the Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways.
According to the officials, the first MMLP at Jogighopa, which would be connected to road, rail, air and waterways, would be developed in 317-acre land along the Brahmaputra River, and would provide direct or indirect employment to nearly 20 lakh youth in Assam.
While laying the foundation stone for the project virtually from Delhi on Tuesday, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari, said that his ministry envisages to develop 35 MMLPs in the country, of which work on preparing DPR (detailed project report) and feasibility report is underway.
Gadkari said that Assam's MMLP is being made by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDC), and the first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed by 2023 and the work would begin next month.
He informed that works worth Rs 280 crore have already been awarded, including Rs 171 crore for road construction, Rs 87 crore for erecting the structure, and Rs 23 crore for rail lines.
The minister said that the distance of 154 km between Jogighopa and Guwahati would be covered by making a four-lane road on this stretch, while a 3 km rail line would connect Jogighopa station with the MMLP. Another 3 km rail link would connect it to the Inland Water Transport and the road to newly developed Rupsi airport would be upgraded to four lanes for better connectivity.
He said the MMLP would have all the necessary facilities including warehouse, railway siding, cold storage, customs clearance house, yard facility, workshops, petrol pumps, truck parking, administrative building, boarding and lodging, eating joints, water treatment plant etc.
The minister further informed that his ministry has plans for national highway works worth Rs 80,000 crore in Assam.
He said, NH works for 575 km worth Rs 3,545 crore are going to be completed within this financial year and NH works of nearly Rs 15,000 crore would be awarded by next year, while DPRs will be completed for works of Rs 21,000 crore for the state.
Union DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Minister Jitendra Singh said that more than 10 waterways are being developed in the northeast, bringing down the logistic cost by one fourth.
He said this cost effective mode of transport would be a cheaper option for trade, business and transportation and would boost trade across the borders, especially with the eastern neighbours by leaps and bounds.
He said that MMLP is a novel idea, and would be replicated by other states soon.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Ministers Gen (Retd) V.K. Singh, Rameshwar Teli, and Assam Ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chandra Mohan Potwary and Phani Bhushan Choudhury also addressed the event.
Historically, Assam and the northeastern region used to have a very vibrant trade activity with the neighbouring countries.
The region had multi-modal transportation networks, roadways, railways and riverine waterways through the territories along Bangladesh and Myanmar.