No headway on much hyped dry ports in J&K

Srinagar to wait till it gets railway connectivity, in Jammu land yet to be identified

MUKEET AKMALI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Aug 11 2018 12:21AM | Updated Date: Aug 11 2018 12:21AM
No headway on much hyped dry ports in J&KRepresentational Pic

There has been no headway in setting up of much-hyped dry ports in the state, while the Srinagar has to wait till it gets railway connectivity with rest of the country, for Jammu the land for the facility is yet to be identified.

Though, then PDP-BJP government portrayed it a big achievement while inking a memorandum of understanding with UAE-based Dubai Ports Group. However, the company has not liked the land shown by the state government to them for establishing dry port in Jammu.

“There is no talk of dry port in Srinagar till the railway gets connected. Though government at that time announced it for both regions keeping in view the regional politics, but it is highly unlikely that any company will establish dry port in Srinagar till it is connected with railway network,” said a senior government official, adding that it is a commercial project and it has to be viable for sustenance.   

In Jammu, though the railway network is already laid. However, as per the official, Dubai Ports Group has not found land shown by the state government at Samba feasible for the project. State government had identified around 500 kanals of land available at Samba for setting up dry port.

“We have shown them land at Samba which they didn’t like then again land was shown to them at Rajouri. Somehow that too was not found viable for the port by the company,” said another official, who belongs to industries and commerce department adding that search for suitable land for the project is still going on.

Principal Secretary, industries and commerce, Shailendra Kumar said, “Dubai Ports is working on finalising the site for the dry port in Jammu region. After which they have to submit a detailed project report along with feasibility report which would be then examined by the state government.”

When asked about the port in Srinagar, he said “it will be established after Srinagar gets linked with railway network.”

Former finance minister Haseeb Drabu, who, in his budget speech had announced setting up of two dry ports in Srinagar and Jammu and had signed the MoU with Dubai Ports in Dubai earlier this year, had stated that work on Jammu port is likely to be completed between 18 to 24 months. 

The state government at that time had announced that the MoU for setting up inland logistic hubs in Jammu and Srinagar, as a joint venture between Dubai Ports and the Jammu and Kashmir Government, has been finalised for setting up the first inland logistics hub in Jammu and Kashmir.

The logistics hubs were to be established in Jammu and Kashmir with maiden Foreign Direct Investment of around Rs 1,500 crore by Dubai Ports and would have include two dry ports, warehouses, cold storage chain, controlled atmospheric stores and supply chain to transport commodities and products including horticulture and agriculture produce, handicrafts and industrial products from the state directly to the markets throughout the world.

One of the major problems of J&K economy is high cost of transportation of goods and products. It is believed that with dry port and cold chains, the commodities can move through an integrated transport chain bringing down transport costs by abut 30 percent. 

A dry port serves as trans-shipment point in transport of export/import goods and is named so because it is very similar to a seaport in services it offers except that it is not near a sea.

Dubai Ports is operating 78 marine and inland terminals supported by over 50 related businesses in 40 countries.

 

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