More than two decades after a team of Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries had met the then finance minister Manmohan Singh, the then deputy chairman of planning commission Pranab Mukherjee, and others on August 28, 1991, with an application demanding a dry port in Bihar the process in this regard has finally been set in motion.
On Tuesday the Bihar government leased out nearly 23.78 acres of land of Bihta Sugar Mill for 60 years with an extension period of 30 years to Pristine Magadh Infrastructure, a subsidiary of Delhi-based Pristine Logistics and Infraprojects Private Limited for setting up the logistics cum industrial park. Bihta is about 30 km west of Patna.
According to Rajnish Kumar, director, Pristine group, it would provide a door-to-door service and would be investing about Rs 100 crore in three years in the project. It would generate employment for about 3,000 people.
He cited an example of maize and said the dry port would reduce the loss incurred in maize transportation by almost 15 to 20 per cent.
After signing the lease contract, state sugarcane minister Awadhesh Prasad Kushwaha said the land of Bihta Sugar Mill was lying unused. In a viability assessment, it was found that its revival would not be feasible. So, we decided to allot the land for setting up a different industry.
The park would provide direct connectivity with all major ports of the country and goods would be imported/exported faster and cheaper.
Uttar Pradesh has dry ports at Dadri, Ghaziabad and Kanpur. They were also set up by Pristine group.
The facility would open doors for the Bihar-based industrialists and entrepreneurs who can now send their products to markets abroad.
The first dry port of the state, also known as inland container depot, will be directly connected by rail or road to a sea port, providing services for handling, temporary storage, inspection and customs clearance for international freight. Company officials said the dry port, with an initial cost of Rs 33 crore, would be ready by October. The total cost of the project is Rs 100 crore.
As Bihar is a land-locked state, the logistics cost for exports is very high––at least 16 per cent compared to eight per cent when it comes to national or international logistic figures. The dry port will bring down the cost and also help the state’s industry sector with more exports.