The shipping and railway ministries along with Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments today entered into a pact to implement around Rs 9,000 crore Indore-Manmad rail project. “We are starting a very big railway project from Indore to Manmad. Indore is a commercial hub and from here the containers by using Central railways will come to Manmad and from Manmad they (containers) will go to JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust),” Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters here.
The tribal sectors of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, he said, will benefit from the railway line which will cost around Rs 9,000 crore, he said after the signing of the MoU. The project will reduce the distance from Mumbai/ Pune to key central India locations by 171 km. Gadkari said that due to this line the existing route of 815 km will be reduced to 644 km.
Besides Gadkari, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were among those present during the MoU signing. Stating that Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor will be connected with the project, Gadkari said the railway line will also be used for the passenger trains.
“In this also the time will be saved and distance of around 215-250 km will be saved. This will be used for the development of the backward area,” he added. Stating that JNPT will invest money in this line, Gadkari said that state governments of Madhya Pradesh and Maharshtra have assisted in the land acquisition work. Ministry of Shipping or its nominated PSUs including JNPT, will be the main promoter of the project with the equity share of 55 per cent. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh will have share of 15 per cent each in the project among others.
The project passes through the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor nodes Igatpuri, Nashik and Sinnar, Pune and Khed, and Dhule and Nardana. The project is estimated to result in cumulative net economic benefits of Rs 15,000 crore in the first 10 years of operations. The project will reduce the logistics cost for the cargo centres located in Northern India such as Lucknow, Agra, Gwalior and Kanpur belt as well as Indore?Dhule? Bhopal region to the gateway ports JNPT and Mumbai.
It will be an alternate route to the existing central and western railway lines and will reduce congestion on the over utilised existing railway network. In addition, it will help in employment generation, reduction in pollution, fuel consumption and vehicle operating costs.