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South India’s largest Multimodal Logistics Park to come soon in Bengaluru

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BENGALURU : Groundwork has begun to construct South India’s largest Multimodal Logistics Park (MMLP) at Obalapura on the northern outskirts of Bengaluru, with full-fledged construction slated to start in March.

Spread over 400 acres, the MMLP will provide a host of logistics, warehousing and cold storage facilities that are aimed at reducing overall logistics costs from 13% to 9% and making exports competitive. It will handle about 30 million metric tonnes of cargo by 2070.

The MMLP is expected to boost the industrial areas in Bengaluru, Tumakuru and the surrounding districts. Plus, it will eliminate the need for trucks coming into the city to deliver goods, reducing traffic congestion.

The Rs 1,770-crore project is being developed by Bengaluru MMLP Pvt Ltd, a special-purpose vehicle with three stakeholders. The NHAI’s National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML) owns the majority stake (51.29%), followed by the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIDB) (32.38%) and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) (16.33%).

On August 29, 2023, the SPV signed an agreement with private firm PATH Bengaluru Logistics Park Pvt Ltd, which will build the project under the Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.

As per the agreement, the concessionaire will develop and operate warehousing facilities while the NHLML will only charge the lease.

As the name suggests, the MMLP will facilitate connectivity through different modes of transport. Its location is strategic: On its eastern flank, the KIADB is building an industrial park. On the south runs the Bengaluru-Hubballi-Mumbai railway line while the north is bound by the Satellite Town Ring Road’s Dobbspet-Doddaballapur-Hoskote stretch (NH 648). The STRR will help connect the MMLP with the Kempegowda International Airport (55 km away) and the Chennai port through the Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway. Dobbspet, known for its mechanical, automobile and electrical engineering industries, is about 12 km away.

The MMLP will be developed in three phases. The first phase is to be completed in 2026, the second in 2034 and the third in 2039. “The first phase is the most important and will be ready in two years,” an official from the NHLML told DH.

As part of the groundwork, the contractor has started clearing and levelling the ground and erecting boundary pillars. The foundation for an RCC plant has also been dug, the official said.

In the first phase, the MMLP will get road connectivity with the surroundings. These include a trumpet interchange on NH 648 and a four-km-long common access road for the MMLP and the KIADB industrial park. A separate contractor will be hired to construct the road, according to the official.

In the second phase, the MMLP will get 1.1-km-long sidings that will directly connect it to the main railway line and the Dodbele train station by 2028. A siding is a short railway track away from the main line, where trains run at low speeds. Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) will construct both sidings within the MMLP, the official said.

The MMLP will have also customs facilities where exporters can pay the requisite fees to process their consignments.

According to the official, the MMLP’s true potential will be realised when the sidings come. Until then, it will be used for general warehousing where trucks can load or unload and goods can be distributed further on.

“Trucks coming from the north wouldn’t have to enter Bengaluru. They can use the MMLP’s warehousing facilities for loading and unloading of goods, which will be fully mechanised. The goods can then be sent to the city by small vehicles,” the official said.

Mr. G R Shanmugappa, President of the Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners and Agents Association, explained why the MMLP could be a game-changer.

Trucks from, say Mumbai or Delhi, can unload at the MMLP at any point in time and go back. The goods can be stocked at the MMLP’s cold storage facilities and taken into Bengaluru whenever required. “This will help truckers as well as businesses. Truckers wouldn’t have to bribe the police within the city to get clearances. Businesses can plan better. Traffic within the city will also reduce,” he said.

According to Shanmuggappa, the MMLP’s cold storage facilities will help increase the shelf life of fruits and other produce. He called for similar logistics parks in Electronics City and other parts of Bengaluru.

Bengaluru’s own logistics hub
Location: Obalapura, Nelamangala taluk
Area: 406 acres (including common road)
Cost: Rs 1,770 crore
Construction start date: March 2024
Deadline: Phase 1 (2026), Phase 2 (2034), Phase 3 (2039)
Implementing agency: Bengaluru MMLP Pvt Ltd
Concessionaire: PATH Bengaluru Logistics Park Pvt Ltd
Concession period: 45 years
Road: Next to National Highway 648 (STRR)
Rail: Next to Bengaluru-Hubballi-Mumbai line; 1.1-km siding
Air: 55 km from KIA
Port: Chennai port through STRR and Bengaluru-Chennai expressway
Land acquisition: KIADB has acquired 291 acres out of the 406 acres required, and deposited compensation for 90 more acres. The acquisition of another 25 acres is in process.

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