Aug 16, 2016

Konkan Railway partners Shapoorji Pallonji for new Chiplun-Karad Rail line

A memorandum of understanding will be signed between the government and Shapoorji Pallonji Group on Sunday

Konkan Railway will sign an MoU with Shapoorji Pallonji & Co on August 14 for construction of new railway line between Chiplun and Karad railway stations.

The pact will be signed in the presence of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Konkan Railway Chairman and Managing Director, Sanjay Gupta said here today.
The project was conceived jointly by Railway Ministry and Government of Maharashtra to ensure better connectivity for the coastal Konkan region.

Gupta said the upcoming project is finally seeing light of the day with the identification of Shapoorji Pallonji Corporation Pvt Ltd (SPCPL) as the Public Private Partner with KRCL (Konkan Railway Corporation Limited).

Outlining the challenges, the recently-appointed full time CMD said, “We have enormous potential to expand ourselves and we are doing that. We are on the path of our capacity building and I hope that the biggest challenge is to arrange the financing modalities and funds which I am working hard to achieve to execute the various projects.

“In fiscal ended recently, we earned profit of Rs 129 crore. Our effort would be to maintain and raise the bar from this level,” he said.

Last year, to mark its silver jubilee, the Konkan Railway had proposed to link Chiplun in coastal Ratnagiri district with Karad in Satara district across the Sahyadris, providing rail connectivity between the hinterland of Maharashtra and its Konkan coast. The linkage will provide a big boost to the industry, said Siddeshwar Telugu, CPRO, Konkan Railway, in a release here.

The route will be 103-km long. As the Maharashtra government is developing or expanding the ports of Rewas, Dighi, Jaigarh, Angre, Vijaydurg and Redi, the Karad-Chiplun line will facilitate easy transport of export/import cargo. The detailed project report has already been prepared, Telugu said. The ‘traffic projection’ report has been prepared by Pricewaterhousecoopers while the financial viability study was conducted SBI Capital.

The major cargo that this line will transport is coal used for power generation. The estimated cost of construction is around Rs 2,500 crore. Maharashtra government would bear half the cost and the balance would be funded through the private participation.

The project is expected to be completed within five years. The special purpose vehicle for the project would be formed within a couple of months and the construction may start soon thereafter, the PRO added.