CHENNAI 06/NOV/2014: A separate Ministry for logistics integrating ports, railways, roads, airways and inland waterways will help in developing transport and shipping sector to contribute at least 2 per cent to the countrys GDP, the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a presentation to Union Minister of Roadways, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari. J Krishnan, Chairman of the logistics committee of the chamber, said in the presentation that infrastructure has to underpin the Make in India programme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently.
Inter-ministerial rivalries and trust deficit between the Centre and States due to different political affiliations has remained a major roadblock for commissioning and completing major infrastructure projects. To create a world class infrastructure, a holistic approach needs to be adopted. In the Indian context ministries controlling infrastructure are road, rail, air, shipping, industry and different State Governments. Railway focuses on passenger movement while National Highways Authority of India and ports do not enter into pre-planning consultations. As the project progresses, access bottlenecks emerge and disrupt the progress of the projects, said Krishnan.
The Chamber also suggested creation of a mega port on East and West Coast for sustained operation of mega containerised (mother) vessels. Ships are getting large, and not all ports can today handle those vessels. Such large ports also cannot operate in isolation, and need to be interconnected with rest of India. There is a need for a port expressway and railway connecting landlocked port to a back up land infrastructure facility. This will ensure speedy evacuation of cargo from the port, said Krishnan. However, ports like Chennai suffer due to lack of such infrastructure. Responding to the chambers presentation, Gadkari said he would look into the issues.