PANAJI: With infrastructure challenges persisting, Goa’s logistics sector continues to languish in the doldrums, and the industry now hopes that policymakers will walk the talk and address the identified gaps in the sector.
Assurances of developing Goa as a logistics hub have failed to attract fresh investment in the sector, but the opening of the international cargo terminal at the Manohar International Airport, Mopa, has offered hope, said industry players.
“There is no functioning crane at the moment at the Mormugao Port that can lift containers or other cargo. If we have Mopa airport and we have a functioning port as well as the two rail lines and the improved road network, then we will be setting the base for Goa to really become a logistics hub,” said mentor for the CII Goa Panel on Logistics, Anthony Gaskell.
Gaskell said that manufactured goods and pharmaceutical products are currently transported by trucks to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, also known as the Nhava Sheva Port.
The private sector is counting on Goa’s logistics policy to set things right. Among the main infrastructure gaps for the sector are dedicated land for logistics parks, modern truck terminals, proper roads and time-bound clearances for investment.
“A policy is a policy, but then what are the next steps after that to implement the policy?” said Gaskell.
“There’s no specific area dedicated to logistics at the moment in Goa, and if we’re to attract serious investors in logistics to put up modern warehousing or a logistics park, then we need to have some land that they can come in and invest in. We’re hoping that some land can be dedicated for that under this GIDC policy.”
CII Goa is hosting a conference on logistics where it hopes to bring industry players and policymakers together to help bridge the gaps.
CII has also asked the state government to consider linking the Mopa airport with the Konkan railway network. Gaskell said that he expects international cargo flights to commence operations from Mopa by year-end.
“We spoke to the government and suggested connecting Mopa by rail, which will also do cargo as well as passenger traffic. A single-line railway would handle much more cargo and people than the same space of a road line,” said chairman of CII Goa Anirudh Agrawal.