Railway line set to become harbinger of development

Mumbai: In a bid to meet the longstanding demand of connecting the Central Railway to Konkan Railway, an MoU was signed on August 14 for constructing a new line between Chiplun and Karad.

A senior Konkan Railway officer said, “This project, involving the construction of a 103-km long line from Chiplun to Karad, will enable port connectivity to the hinterland of Maharashtra and further pave the way for development on this entire stretch of the state.”

A railway spokesperson said, “The proposed railway line between Chiplun and Karad will play a major role in the regional development. The project will be instrumental in overall development of Western Maharashtra and Konkan by facilitating easy and economical movement of raw materials and finished products in addition to providing convenient transport facilities to the people of these two regions. It will generate direct employment opportunities for approximately 5,000 people per year during the construction period and many more jobs in indirect manner.”

This much-awaited project was conceived jointly by Railway Ministry and Maharashtra Government. Shapoorji Pallonji Corporation Pvt Ltd (SPCPL) will partner with Konkan Railway to execute the Public Private Partner (PPP) venture, which will be completed in five years with an estimated cost of Rs 3195.60 crore.

Konkan Railway will have 26 per cent equity in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) implementing the project, while Shapoorji Pallonji hold the remaining 74 per cent.

Sanjay Gupta, Konkan Railway Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), said, “We are looking forward to build more capacity in the railway system. The upcoming project, that is worth Rs 2500 crore, is finally seeing light of day with the identification of Shapoorji Pallonji Corporation Pvt Ltd (SPCPL) as the PPP with Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL). The pact will be signed in the presence of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.”

Outlining the features of Maritime Agenda 2020 of India, he said “The port cargo movement is expected to increase three-fold by 2020.”

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