New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust- Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Railways, Govt of Maharashtra and Govt of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday signed in New Delhi an MoU for implementation of the 362 km Indore-Dhule-Malegaon-Manmad New Railway Line Project.
"The new project will reduce the distance from Mumbai/Pune to key central India locations by 171 kilometers, resulting in lower logistics costs. This is especially significant as the new railway line will pass through the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor nodes of Igatpuri, Nashik, Sinnar and Malegaon; Pune and Khed; and Dhule and Nardana", Ministry of Shipping said.
"Containers and other rail traffic from Indore and other Central Indian locations earlier had to follow a circuitous route through Vadodara and Surat to reach Mumbai, Pune and ports like JNPT, travelling a distance of 815 km", the ministry said.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.
"The implementation of the project will be through the Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL) on Joint Venture SPV model", the ministry said.
"A Joint Venture Company will be formed between Ministry of Shipping or its nominated PSUs/Entity including JNPT (which will be the main promoter) with equity share of 55 per cent, Government of Maharashtra or its nominated PSUs/Entity, Government of Madhya Pradesh or its nominated PSUs/Entity, and others with equity share of 15 per cent each", it added.
Speaking on the occasion, Nitin Gadkari hailed the signing of the MoU as a major step towards development of backward areas of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra through which the new railway line will pass.
"The project is estimated to result in cumulative net economic benefits of Rs 15,000 crore in the first ten years of operations", Gadkari said.
He said that the logistics advantages of the project include providing a shorter route for passenger as well as the freight traffic originating from/terminating at or crossing through the region.
"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", he said.
"It will provide an alternate route to the existing central and western railway lines and will reduce congestion on the over utilized existing railway network. Shri Gadkari also said that the project will help in employment generation, reduction in pollution, fuel consumption and vehicle operating costs", he said.
Total Project Cost is Rs. 8574.79 crores. "The project will be completed within six years", the Ministry of Shipping said.
The Manmad-Malegaon-Dhule-Indore railway project however is alreadt delayed. MoS Defence, who is an MP representing Dhule-Malegaon parliamentary constituency had on April 02, 2017 had said that everyting was in place and all procedural formalities were in their final stages.
The Manmad-Indore railway line via Malegaon-Dhule was approved by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in the 2016 Railway Budget. This was the second time Railway Ministry had given nod to Manmad-Indore railway line via Malegaon-Dhule. In 2012, then Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi had included this project in the 2012 Railway Budget.
When Lalu Prasad Yadav was Railway Minister, he had ordered feasibility survey of this project. When Suresh Prabhu presented his first railway budget in 2015, he ordered a fresh survey allocating a fund of Rs.1.32 cr for the purpose.
The demand for the Manmad-Indore railway line via Malegaon-Dhule is not new. The first ever survey for this railway route, which is supposed to pass through Malegaon, Dhule, Nerdana, Shirpur and Mahu before culminating at Indore, was done long before the independence in 1908.
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