"The Ministry of Shipping has approved the development of a Rs 156 crore freight village in Varanasi adjoining the Inland Waterways Terminal on River Ganga," said the ministry
The government on Thursday, said it had given its nod to develop a Rs 156 crore freight village in Varanasi adjoining the inland waterways terminal on river Ganga that will boost the logistics industry in the holy city.
"The Ministry of Shipping has approved the development of a Rs 156 crore freight village in Varanasi adjoining the Inland Waterways Terminal on River Ganga," the ministry said in a statement.
A freight village is a designated area where facilities for various modes of transportation, distribution of goods and other logistics are available in a synchronised manner on a large scale.
The Varanasi freight village will be developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), it said.
The freight village "will serve as a cargo hub and a centre for aggregation and value addition. It will also provide support to stimulate the development of a professional logistics industry in Varanasi," the statement said.
A 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 the country where the National Waterways-1, Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC), National Highway-7 and National Highway-2 pass through.
The volume of traffic on the inland waterway to Varanasi is expected to increase with the commissioning of the multi-modal terminal being built under the Jal Marg Vikas project.
Varanasi 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 the first phase and 30 acres in the second phase at a total estimated cost of Rs 120 crore.
Another pre-investment cost of Rs 45 crore is expected to be incurred on soft aspects of the projects such as procurement of consultancy service and operation of the project management unit.
In a separate statement, the Shipping Ministry said Patna would be witness to a new landmark in India's inland water transport sector with "16 TEUs of container cargo belonging to food giants PepsiCo India and Emami Agrotech Ltd from Kolkata reaching the city's Gaighat IWT terminal on river Ganga next week."
IWAI's vessel MV RN Tagore sailed from Kolkata's Garden Reach Jetty on Thursday with the PepsiCo and Emami Agrotech products.
"It will reach the IWT terminal at Patna in 6-7 days after an 815 km long voyage on river Ganga (National Waterway-1)," the statement said.