'Allocate more funds towards development of waterways'

Allocate more funds towards development of waterways: Sanjay Bhatia

Sanjay Bhatia, Co-founder, CEO, Freightwalla.

By Sanjay Bhatia

Globally, growth in logistics has been via a healthy multi-modal mix and interconnectedness between rail, road, inland and coastal waterways. But, in India, the modal mix has been biased towards roads, which we believe will change for the better, as we look forward to increased clarity on the progress of schemes such as the Sagarmala project in this budget. Out of the 574 projects that have been identified for implementation under this programme, during 2015-2035, a total of 121 projects have been completed and 201 projects are under implementation worth over Rs 20,000 crore. Yet, so far, merely Rs 1,820 crore has been sanctioned for this project. Likewise, Jal Marg Vikas Project such as the Sahibganj, Haldia & Varanasi Terminal will tap into the development of inland waterways which we believe would increase the movement of cargo volume on Ganga by nearly four times in the next four years. We look forward to Union Budget 2020 allocating more funds to such programmes to catalyse completion of more projects. Ultimately, these projects will lead to a fall in the logistics costs for exports that has brought undue pressure on the competitiveness of Indian exports and has been slowing down the growth of the Make in India campaign.

(The writer is the co-founder and CEO of Freightwalla.)