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World Bank to invest $300 million in Kolkata logistics infrastructure

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World Bank is likely to pump in $300 million (Rs 2,100 crore) for development of multi-modal logistics infrastructure in the Kolkata Metropolitan area, state finance and industries minister Amit Mitra announced while addressing the CII Logistics Colloquium 2019 on Saturday.

The agency has already submitted a conceptual masterplan in this regard. A meeting to finalize it is scheduled next week. “Top World Bank officials indicated about this project during their visit in Bengal Global Business Summit earlier this year,” Mitra said. Junaid Kamal Ahmad Ahmad, country director of World Bank, had attended the last edition of the Summit.

According to Mitra, the project would encompass development of rail, road and water logistics infrastructure. “Kolkata is among very few cities in the country where all these three forms are available and can be put to use to develop the transit system,” he said. The state government will be the nodal agency for implementing the project.

World Bank, Mitra added, is also undertaking a review of industrial infrastructure that includes industrial parks, industrial estates, SEZ and others on the eastern corridor in the South Asian Region. States like Bengal, along with other states like Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi and Haryana, will benefit from the project. “This is aimed at enhancing logistics competitiveness, employment generation, ease of doing business and investment opportunities. World Bank is very keen about Bengal because of its location,” he added.

According to sources, KPMG has identified five prominent sites — Dankuni, Durgapur, Tajpur, Malda City and Siliguri — for logistics parks in the state. This will be developed on a public-private partnership basis. “The total estimated investments in these parks would be Rs 10,500 crore and the scope of employment is over 1 lakh,” Mitra said. He pointed out that these areas cater to a catchment area contributing more than 90% of the state GDS and serving the neighbouring states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and eight northeastern states. Commenting on the high-profile Flipkart investment in logistics in the state, he added that all the necessary clerances have already been given to the project. “Last week, we have given fire clearances in as many days,” he added.


Source: Times of India

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