INDIAN Railways confirmed last month that it was drawing up plans for public-private partnerships to improve and operate many of its 7000 freight depots.

Under the proposal, IR would lease its existing yards and goods sheds to private developers who would build and operate state-of-the-art logistics terminals. The railway believes that better handling facilities would improve wagon utilisation, and new warehousing facilities would make rail services more attractive for a range of traffics. Estimated cost of the redevelopment is put at Rs40m to Rs50m per terminal.

As a pilot project, IR has handed over 23 depots to the Central Warehousing Corp, which will upgrade them to handle 12000 tonnes per year at each location.

  • The Railways (Amendment) Bill 2004 was introduced to the Indian parliament on December 20. It will create the Rail Land Development Authority (RG 1.05 p12) and give IR powers to raise funding for investment through property development.