With at least two mega steel plants set to open in the districts of Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara, the Orissa state government has decided to improve logistics infrastructure in the region in order to meet the expected load in the next 30 years.
The Odisha government has approved JSW Utkal Steel (JUSL) to build a 13.2 MTPA integrated steel project near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district for Rs 65,000 crore and Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India to build a 24 MTPA integrated steel plant in Mahakalapada block in Kendrapara district for Rs 1.02 lakh crore. Idco has been tasked with developing a framework involving private players, industries, and other relevant stakeholders in order to undertake logistical infrastructure projects in a mission mode.
Based on a recent Industries Department study, total freight traffic in the region is estimated to be around 143 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), with bulk freight traffic accounting for approximately 93per cent (pc) during 2021–2022. Approximately 96 percent of the cargo in the region was produced by the Kujang and Ersama blocks.
Due to the expansion plans of various industries, the freight load is expected to reach 269 MTPA by 2030. Furthermore, freight demand is expected to exceed 550 MTPA by 2050. Some of the region’s key logistical issues have been heavy congestion and long wait times on NH 5A due to a lack of dedicated access to industries and a lack of multi-modal facilities. According to sources, the lack of dedicated truck parking space on NH 5A leads to roadside parking and heavy congestion, affecting cargo movement. Due to traffic congestion, the cost of road transportation on the highway is more than twice the national average.
While Idco will build common infrastructure such as a workers’ hostel, warehousing complex, and truck parking facility, the Commerce and Transport department has been asked to notify the Odisha Maritime Board, which was formed to administer, control, and manage the state’s non-major ports and non-nationalized waterways.