Union Cabinet approves policy on long-term leasing of railways’ land for implementing PM Gati Shakti framework | The Financial Express

Union Cabinet approves policy on long-term leasing of railways’ land for implementing PM Gati Shakti framework

300 PM Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals will be developed over the next five years.

Union Cabinet approves policy on long-term leasing of railways’ land for implementing PM Gati Shakti framework
The government claims that it will bring more revenue to railways and employment generation potential of about 1.2 lakh jobs. (Image courtesy: www.india.gov.in)

The Union Cabinet has approved the Ministry of Railways’ proposal to revise the railways’ land policy to implement the PM Gati Shakti framework (Cargo related activities, public utilities, and railways’ exclusive use). The meeting was chaired by PM Narendra Modi. ​​​​​​​300 PM Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals will be developed over the next five years.

If we talk about the impact, it will help in attracting more cargo to railways. It will also increase railways’ modal share in freight transportation thereby reducing the logistics cost of the industry. The government claims that it will bring more revenue to railways and employment generation potential of about 1.2 lakh jobs.

What’s more? This will streamline approvals for utilities as envisaged in PM Gati Shakti Programme. This will not only help in the development of public utilities like water supply, electricity, gas, telecom cable, sewage disposal, drains, optical fiber cables, pipelines, roads, flyovers, but also terminals, regional rail transport, urban transport, etc. in an integrated manner.

Talking about the financial implications, the government says that no additional expenditure will be incurred. Liberalizing the land leasing policy would open avenues for all stakeholders to establish more cargo-related facilities. It will also render their participation assisting in the generation of additional cargo traffic and freight revenues for Indian Railways.

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The policy will enable the integrated development of infrastructure. It will also facilitate more cargo terminals. For a period up to 35 years @ 1.5% of the market value of land per annum, it provides for long-term leasing of railway land for cargo-related activities, said the government.

In the country, this will increase the modal share of rail in freight transportation and reduce overall logistics costs, the government further said and added that the existing entities using railway land for cargo terminals will have the option to switch to the new policy regime. However, this can be done after a transparent and competitive bidding process.

Within 90 days of cabinet approval, the Comprehensive Policy document will be framed and implemented.

The government said that a need was felt to streamline and simplify railways’ land use policy. Under PM Gati Shakti’s framework, it will enable faster-integrated planning and development of infrastructure across India.

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