As reported, the World Bank has submitted a conceptual ‘master plan’ for logistical infrastructure development in the metropolitan city of Kolkata – with projects worth USD 300 million. The announcement was made by West Bengal’s Finance Minister, Amit Mitra, who addressed the audience at the Logistics Colloquium organised by CII and the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC).
It is estimated that a meeting will soon be arranged to deliberate and discuss the plan in a bid to finalise it. The funding for the proposed development is also likely to be taken by the World Bank.
Among the areas of interest shown by the financial organisation, key segments of focus includes: Multimodal logistics development which will include rail and road, reviewing industrial parks, logistics hubs and SEZs in West Bengal. The central aim of the master plan is to enhance competitiveness in terms of logistics, generate job opportunities and make it easier to conduct business.
Reportedly, the West Bengal Government has taken active steps to up the spending in the state for developing infrastructure – compared to Rs 17.58 billion in 2011, funding towards the sector has gone up by almost five times to Rs 95.53 billion in the current year.
Additionally, it has also been reported that various projects and initiatives in the state, such as the Inland Water Transport World Bank project, the roll-on roll-off (RORO) project, Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor, Asian Highway Project and Kaladan Multimodal Project, among other ventures have resulted in an increase in warehousing in Bengal by almost 191 per cent.
The World Bank’s master plan comes as a giant push for the state as it is already placed in a highly strategic position, adding to the infrastructure connect between India and other south-eastern countries.