Jammu & Kashmir logistics policy demands better infra, warehouses and cold chains

logistics cost in J&K is 10 per cent to 15 per cent higher than the national average

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has come up with a “logistics policy” that has pressed for reduction of high logistics cost due to weather, poor infrastructure of roads and warehouses.

The first draft of the policy pointed out that logistics cost in J&K is 10 per cent to 15 per cent higher than the national average. It remarks that over 60 per cent of the state terrain is mountainous and goods in transit are “subjected to the rugged topography” that is made further problematic in addition to weather vagaries.

It said for focus on developing rail linked freight aggregation and distribution to reduce transit time as an efficient and automated facility to reduce logistics costs. The policy suggested that there is a prospect of high returns on investment in the underdeveloped infrastructure in Grade-A warehousing, ICD and Cold Storage.

“In the absence of adequate protection and roadside facilities, the cost efficiency of goods is affected,” reads the draft policy.

In February 2017, the J&K government, Government of Dubai and global trade enablers, DP-World, signed an MoU to explore opportunities to develop trade infrastructure in the state. It plans to develop a multi-modal logistics park and hub in Jammu, comprising Private Freight Terminal (PFT), Inland Container Depot (ICD), warehouses and specialized storage solutions with broad gauge rail and a logistics national highway that will encourage inter-modal transfer of containers, bulk and break-bulk cargo, and later on in Kashmir.

Under the Logistics Policy, the government plans to develop an inland container depot in Srinagar and a dry port in the state, which will eliminate the major impediment in the export sector.  The Government as per the draft intends to improve basic infrastructure and civic amenities at the major loading and unloading points, warehouses and overnight parking lots for the goods carriers.

The policy also recommends improving performance in respect of environmental protection in the delivery of services and providing a healthy and safe working environment to the people engaged in the field of logistics industry.

“Clearances required for setting up of, park to be given through single window clearance system, identification of new land bank for logistics parks,” it reads. The policy recommends that a special task force should also be constituted for ensuring logistics overall orderly development of logistics in the state.