Over 5,000 industrial units in Uttar Pradesh's commercial capital have reason to rejoice. After the proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ), leather and textile park, the city is also set to shelter a logistics and warehousing park. The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) is in the process of setting up three parks along the Eastern corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni in West Bengal.
One of these will be at Kanpur apart from other two at Ludhiana and Durgapur. Around 32 per cent (1,002 km) of the corridor passes through the state while Kanpur has been proposed because of its industrial significance and its central location, being well connected by rail and road to all parts of the country.
FCCIL director P N Shukla in a meeting with the UP chief secretary Atul Kumar Gupta proposed to frame a Special Purpose vehicle (SPV) for implementing the project functions. These multi-modal logistics hubs have been planned to provide total transport solution and other value-added services to industry in and around the dedicated freight corridor.
North-Central Railway General Manager Harish Chandra Joshi told Business Standard the park would provide space for storage, transport, packaging, light processing, workshops, container yard, a modern container handling system, cargo handling, offices and other key supports for thousands of city's industrial units. "FCCIL and concor officials will meet towards end of this month to take final decision on the issue," he added.
The odds are that the railways would provide land for this project while the Container Corporation of India (Concor) will develop the infrastructure. The park would facilitate industries in the region with quick and cheap transportation of materials.
Indian Industries Association (IIA) regional president, Sunil Vaishya said that such a development was always a welcome step in wake of three decades of industrial neglect the city had witnessed. "Still, there are over 5,000 industrial units operating in the city which will receive a further boost, reviving hopes of industrial renaissance here," he added.
The project is likely to act as a catalyst to the industrial development of the state. "It will help industries come up on the Eastern Freight Corridor (EFC) proposed by the Railways," added Vaishya.
Sources say that the project will be developed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis, whereby private participants will be invited on build-and-transfer model for a period of 30 years. The plan is also expected to attract major private sector players having expertise in logistics to the state bringing with them world-class technology and equipment.
Rimjhim Ispat MD Yogesh Aggrawal said proximity to the leather, textile and auto-component industry clusters and other manufacturing units had made Kanpur a major economic centre. Leading logistics companies like World Windows Infrastructure and Logistics, DHL Logistics, Transport Corporation of India, Gati, Adani Logistics, Sical Logistics and Mahindra Logistics have already shown interest in the multi-modal logistics parks proposed by FCCIL.
As part of the World Bank funding programme, DFCCIL has appointed a consortium of consultants which includes Parsons Brinkerhoff India, Halcrow, Wilber Smith and Lee Associates for system design, finalisation of bid documents and supervision of the construction of the 300-km Khurja-Kanpur section on the eastern dedicated freight corridor.
The size and span of the park will be decided after consultants study and submit the report regarding the feasibility. It may be a mega park of 1,000 acres, medium parks of 500 acres or special parks of 250 acres at each identified area. However, officials say that in all probability, it will be a mega park demanding an estimated investment of Rs 1,700 crore. The World Bank has already given its approval in principle for a loan of Rs 12,000 crore for the 730-km Mughalsarai-Khurja section, on which Kanpur lies.