In­te­gra­tion for trans­port and lo­gis­tics

Cargo Talk - - Editorial -

Afew years ago, it was iden­ti­fied by the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion that the main chal­lenge is to have a co­or­di­nated and in­te­grated ap­proach to trans­port plan­ning. The co­or­di­na­tion will en­sure that com­pe­ti­tion is not waste­ful, and that net­work ef­fects de­velop in an en­vi­ron­ment of com­pli­men­tary com­pat­i­bil­ity. Such an in­te­grated ap­proach in­her­ently en­tails the fol­low­ing as­pects: In­te­grat­ing the plan­ning for dif­fer­ent modes in syn­ergy with each other, and al­lo­cat­ing to each mode the traf­fic in ac­cor­dance with its niche do­main of cost ad­van­tage, rather than stand-alone sys­tem for mode-spe­cific fund­ing. Th­ese would nec­es­sar­ily in­volve an un­der­stand­ing of the trans­porta­tion mar­ket, rea­son for sys­tem fail­ures and the need and scope for govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion. Ini­tia­tives in this di­rec­tion may also in­ter­alia in­clude fis­cal mea­sures like tax­a­tion, user charges, etc and non­fis­cal mea­sures like pos­i­tive in­duce­ments of fa­cil­i­ties, ser­vices and in­cen­tives. Driven by the forces of tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions and pro­gres­sive glob­al­i­sa­tion of its busi­ness pro­file, the In­dian econ­omy has un­der­gone a par­a­digm shift dur­ing the pe­riod. Ac­cord­ingly, rel­e­vant to the trans­port sec­tor, th­ese changes broadly in­clude in­fra­struc­ture and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments as­so­ci­ated with growth in per­for­mance lev­els of dif­fer­ent modes of trans­port. As a first step, a state-wise list of check-posts around ma­jor cities, in­dus­tries, ports, etc. were iden­ti­fied us­ing cor­don­ing ap­proach aimed at cap­tur­ing an op­ti­mal sam­ple of in­ter­re­gional traf­fic. Their phys­i­cal sites were firmed up in con­sul­ta­tion with of­fi­cers of the PWD and De­part­ments of Economics and Statis­tics of the re­lated State Gov­ern­ments, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the op­er­a­tional con­ve­nience e.g. ad­e­quacy of space for park­ing of goods ve­hi­cles on ei­ther side of the road, so as to cause min­i­mum dis­rup­tion to traf­fic. In meet­ing the above re­quire­ments, ef­forts have been made to use suit­able al­ter­na­tive sites like Oc­troi, Ex­cise, Sales Tax and Toll Gate check­posts for trucks/other goods ve­hi­cles. Un­for­tu­nately, the in­dus­try still ex­pe­ri­ences tremen­dous hur­dles on national high­ways, re­sult­ing in huge tran­sit time and trans­ac­tion costs. The same has put In­dian lo­gis­tics un­der se­ri­ous pres­sure. In ab­sence of a nodal agency (maybe a lo­gis­tics board or a sep­a­rate min­istry for lo­gis­tics), the in­dus­try is now a no­body’s baby. The sooner an in­te­grated ini­tia­tive is taken not only for trans­port, but also for lo­gis­tics in­dus­try at large, the bet­ter the national econ­omy will grow as per its po­ten­tial. It is there­fore of sig­nif­i­cance that both the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion and in­dus­try bod­ies are think­ing se­ri­ously in this di­rec­tion.

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