New Delhi, Sept 7 (UNI) The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the proposal on long term leasing of Railways’ land for implementing PM Gati Shakti framework.
The decision will help in attracting more cargo to railways, increase railways’ modal share in freight transportation thereby reducing logistics cost of the industry. This will also bring more revenue to railways and simplify approvals for utilities as envisaged in PM Gati Shakti Program, a Cabinet release said.
This decision will help in development of public utilities like electricity, gas, water supply, telecom cable, sewage disposal, drains, optical fibre cables (OFC), pipelines, roads, flyovers, but terminals, regional rail transport, urban transport etc. in an integrated manner.
“This policy amendment will enable employment generation potential of about 1.2 lakh employment,” said Union Minister Anurag Thakur. The Minister further said that a Comprehensive Policy document will be framed and implemented within 90 days of cabinet approval.
No additional expenditure will be incurred. Liberalizing the land leasing policy would open avenues for all stakeholders, service providers and operators to establish more cargo related facilities and render their participation assisting in generation of additional cargo traffic and freight revenues to Railways.
The approvals for setting up utilities envisaged under PM Gati Shakti Programme will be simplified and 300 PM Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals would be developed over the next five years.
Railways with its existing land policies could not integrate well with other modes of infrastructure. Therefore, a need was felt to streamline and simplify Railway’s land lease policy to enable faster integrated planning and development of infrastructure across the country under PM Gati Shakti framework.
Extant policy permits licensing of railway land for a short period upto five years for any railway related activity. Such short-term license period does not attract any serious investors for creating multi-modal cargo hubs. Long term leasing of railway land upto 35 years is allowed for leasing government land mainly to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), thereby limiting the scope of investments in cargo terminals.
Since rail is an efficient mode of transport it is essential to more freight by rail so as to reduce the logistics cost of the industry.
To enhance the modal share of rail in freight transportation need has been felt to modify the land leasing policy to encourage development of more cargo terminals.
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