Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee signalled on Friday in her Rail Budget speech that the government plans to unlock the value of several thousand hectares of land lying unused alongside thousands of kilometres of railway tracks.
“I propose to put Railways land bank to productive use,” she said in a move welcomed by industry as something that could have a positive impact on the logistics business.
An estimated 4.3 lakh hectares of railway land is available of which about 43,000 hectares is proposed to be developed for projects like logistics hubs and cold storage facilities.
“The use of railway land bank for industrial development, freight terminals and multi modal logistics parks is likely to have a positive impact on the logistics sector. Setting up cold storage facilities for farmers to store the crop production will help reduce wastages in the system,” said DP Agarwal, vice chairman and managing Director, Transport Corporation of India.
Banerjee said land banks would also help lay the foundation for a rail-based industrial cluster in the eastern industrial corridor, drawing on the advantages of proximity to coal and ore mines, labour resources and metal works.