Indore: Final decision on Indore-Manmad new rail line project is likely to be taken in a meeting between Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari and railway minister Suresh Prabhu by the end of the month. Approximately 339-km-long, the project would entail a cost of Rs 10,000 crore. The project will cut down Indore-Mumbai distance by 200km and also offer a corridor for dispatching export containers from Indore region directly to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).  The final location survey (FLS) of the project was completed about two weeks ago.

A formal discussion on the proposed Indore-Manmad rail project was held at Union Shipping Ministry in New Delhi on Monday. It was attended by Union Surface Transport, NHAI and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari. Officials of Rail Port Corporation and managing director of Audyogic Kendra Vikas Nigam Indore Kumar Purushottam also attended the meeting. Gadkari inquired about trade, industry and export prospects in Indore region from Purushottam. During the meeting, officials consented that the project is a must for business and export growth of the region. AKVN MD briefed the minister about exports from Pithampur SEZ. He emphasised on the importance of the project.

Gadkari instructed officials to explore commissioning of railway line that can directly link Indore to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) bypassing Mumbai, where traffic congestion is a predominant problem. This will save the time, he said. Discussing Final Location Survey (FLS) of the project, he said that construction of tunnels should be avoided while deciding the alignment of rail line.At fag end of the meeting, Gadkari said that the fate of the project would be decided within a month by developing a consensus over funding pattern.  He said that the project would be finalized in a meeting with railway minister Suresh Prabhu by the end of the month.

It is the first project where shipping ministry has pitched in with fund for its completion. Initially, the Railways had planned the Rs 10,000 crore project wherein, it had to pitch in with Rs 5,000 crore, the remaining amount was to be equally shared by Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Later, realizing that the project would also provide a corridor for dispatch of export containers from Indore region to JNPT, the Shipping Ministry offered to contribute Rs 5000 crore, thus exempting Maharashtra and MP.

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