NEW DELHI: Indian Railways is on track to set up 60 freight terminals on public-private partnership basis in this financial year, buoyed by increased freight loading in the previous fiscal.
The Rs 5,000-crore plan will help add nearly 55 million tonnes to the total loading capacity of the railways, officials said.
The new freight terminals will mostly come up near power plants, cement factories, private ports and coal sidings, they said.
“We have got requests from a lot of companies that want to set up freight terminals. We are studying their proposals, after which the permission will be granted,” a senior Railway Board official said, without disclosing the names of the companies. In 2016-17, the railways added 40 freight terminals to its network.
Companies including Reliance Cement Company, Hindustan Petroleum, GMR Energy, UltraTech Cement, Adani Agri Logistics, IOCL and NTPC invested about Rs 2,000 crore during the year in setting freight terminals near their plants.
The railways have set a target of 1,200 million tonnes of freight for this fiscal, higher than about 1,107 million tonnes loaded last year.
The official said the railways will soon unveil its goods shed modernisation policy, under which it will allow logistics firms and e-commerce companies to have their warehouses at the stations.
As per the plan, the railways will allot spaces to the e-commerce companies at railway stations on tender basis. The companies will modernise the existing goods sheds and use them as their warehouses.
“We are currently in the process of hiring a consultant for the goods shed modernisation policy. There’s a huge demand from ecommerce companies that want space within the cities to set up their warehouses to cut logistics costs,” the official said. “We have enough space at our stations which could be utilised by companies for an annual payment.”