September 23, 2022

Chhattisgarh CM proposed freight hub to reach international markets

BOPAL: Shri Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh had submitted a proposal for the hub to the 23rd meeting of the Central Zone Council, held recently in Bhopal. The meeting was chaired by Shri Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Blessed with rich mineral and forest wealth, the landlocked state of Chhattisgarh is likely to have an international cargo hub at Raipur Swami Vivekanand Airport.

“The state government’s proposal was approved at the meeting and work on the project will start after formalities are completed,” a state government spokesperson said. This will open new doors for development, he added.

The hub would facilitate bringing Chhattisgarh products to international markets. Artifacts, especially those made from bell metal and terracotta, are in high demand overseas. In addition, a good volume of forest products in the predominantly tribal regions of Bastar and Sarguja are exported.

In terms of collection of forest products, Chhattisgarh ranks first in the country. The state accounts for 70 percent of the country’s forest product collection, and 61 types of minor forest products—the highest in the country—are purchased at support prices.

The products, confined to local markets, will now travel to the rest of the country and abroad. The spokesperson said that with increased exports, state revenue will increase, giving a boost to the rural economy and creating jobs for the people.

An official from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in Raipur said that a domestic cargo terminal exists at Swami Vivekanand Airport. The old terminal building is now used for cargo handling.

Explaining the terms, the official said that compared to international passenger flights, cargo flights from overseas could be operated without much trouble as they would not require an immigration counter. However, the operation would only be viable if the volumes supported it. Raipur is well connected to all metropolitan cities; a two-hour flight could take one to any corner of the country.

A logistics hub was proposed in the state capital when Raman Singh was chief minister. The foundation stone of the Rs 300 crore project was laid in 2013. But this plan has yet to take shape.