To clear infrastructural bottlenecks and provide last-mile rail connectivity, the Indian Railways has released a draft policy on rail terminals at private ports. It has invited suggestions on the draft from investors before finalising the policy that would set the framework of development of rail terminals and associated logistic facilities for cargo handling and other privately developed ports.
“Such private terminals will be permitted to handle all types of freight traffic. Connectivity from the nearest suitable railhead to the terminal will be provided,” said a senior rail board official. The port authority will be allowed for 30 years and the contract can be renewed after that. “The port rail terminal has to come up within two of years of signing the contract with the railways,” the official added.
To make the policy attractive for investors, railways is not levying any security or licence charge. However, the port authority will bear the entire cost of the terminal. “The technical feasibility of the private port terminal will be examined by the zonal railways,” the rail official added.
All consignment booked to and from the port rail terminal will be prepaid. Freight and other charges will be decided by the zonal railways. The cost of the railway staff stationed at the terminal would be borne by the port authority, the final draft of the policy said.
In the 12th five-year plan, railways is expecting to attract R5,000 crore through port connectivity.