Mumbai: A long-standing demand of the people of Maharashtra- to have a link between Central Railway and Konkan Railway in such a way that it connects cities like Pune and Kolhapur to the Konkan line- is now in advanced stages of planning with the railway ministry approving it this week. The process of formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle is in progress and is expected to be completed in two to three months, said a KR statement.
The new project, expected to cost upwards of Rs 2500 crores at current prices will involve construction of 103 km long railway line from Chiplun on the Konkan Railway and Karad on the Pune-Kolhapur Section of the Central Railway.
It will be built on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode with Konkan Railway holding 26% of the equity, while the Maharashtra Government has indicated its willingness to share 50% cost of the important railway project in the state. Rest will be through private participation, the KR statement said. Part of the railway line will run along the river Koyna and will pass through a hilly terrain of Western Ghats for which tunnelling work will need to be done.
The Chiplun-Karad rail link will enable port connectivity to the hinterland of Maharashtra. The Detailed Project Report has been completed by Konkan Railway. The traffic projection of the line has been done by M/s PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) and the financial viability study has been done by M/s SBI Capital Ltd. The major cargo projected in the study report is thermal coal for power generation and thermal coal for cement plants.
The Government of Maharashtra has also initiated development of sea ports on the Konkan coast viz. Rewas, Dighi, Jaigarh, Angre, Vijaydurg, Redi and the new line will facilitate the speedy evacuation of the export-import cargo from these ports. The centre has also laid thrust on port development as part of its ambitious Sagarmala project to improve port infrastructure, the KR statement said.