Konkan Railway has completed its glorious 25 years of dedicated service to the people of Konkan in particular and the Nation in general. To commemorate its Silver Jubilee Celebrations, it proposes to connect Chiplun to Karad by Rail which will enable Port Connectivity to the Hinterland of Maharashtra. This will proove to be a big boost to the Industries to be set up thereby generating employment to the people of the region.
This New Project will comprise of constructing 103 km long Railway line from Chiplun to Karad. The Govt of Maharashtra has also initiated development of sea ports on BOOST basis on Konkan coast viz. Rewas, Dighi, Jaigarh, Angre, Vijaydurg, Redi and the new line will facilitate the speedy evacuation of the EXIM Cargo from these ports.
Presently, (Financial year 2014-15) Maharashtra has contributed ` 16.86 Lakhs Crs which is around 15% of the GDP of India. To increase the Gross Domestic Product of Maharashtra, it is essential to have more development in the State. Ports will be a catalyst of development of the region. Effective evacuation of EXIM Cargo and hinterland connectivity will enable smooth flow of the cargo to and from the ports.
The new Chiplun-Karad Railway line will be the proposed Railway line from Konkan Railway connecting the ports to the hinterland. This line will be instrumental for the overall development of Western Maharashtra by way of easy and economical movement of the raw material and finished products. Moreover, the traffic through the port and the connected Railway line will facilitate rapid growth at the secondary level.
The Detailed Project Report has been completed by Konkan Railway. The traffic projection of the line has been done by M/s Pricewaterhousecoopers (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. Thus the total coal movement expected during 2018 is more than 11MTPA. Fertilizers, Iron ore and containers are also planned on the new line. The study shows a steady growth of Cargo from 14.9 MTPA during 2018 to 43.2 MTPA in 2033.
Railway transportation is considered as the most environment friendly mode compared to all other modes of surface transportation of cargo.
This line will generate approximately 5,000 direct employment opportunities per year during the construction period and many fold in an indirect manner. Regional development will boost the employment opportunity at the secondary level and the overall development of the Region will be far reaching. The line will have direct effect in Latur, Solapur, Parli, Satara, Kolhapur, Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra and Bijapur, Belgavi, Gulbarga districts of Karnataka. The ripple effect will be triggering further developments in the adjoining districts. Thus the new Rail line will connect Kolhapur with the new ports on the Western Coast and will facilitate the development of Kolhapur which is the major sugar producing district of Maharashtra.
As per the Maritime Agenda 2020 of India, the Port cargo movement is expected to increase three folds (by 2020). Railway projects like this which are connecting the ports to the hinterland will facilitate the realization of Maritime Agenda 2020 targets.
The Project will be in line with the Participative Policy recently promulgated by Ministry of Railway. The policy has got various models and this project is proposed to be taken up in Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model, which will have both Government and private partners. The estimated cost of construction is around ` 2500 crs and Konkan Railway will be sharing 26% of the Equity in the proposed SPV. Govt. of Maharashtra has committed bearing 50% of the cost of the project and the rest will be by Private Participation.
The project has been approved recently by Ministry of Railways and the process of formation of the SPV is in progress. The project is expected to be completed in 5 years. It is expected that the formation of SPV will be completed in two /three months and construction will commence immediately thereafter. This will add one more jewel to the crown of Konkan Railway, which is renowned for its innovative services of “Sadar Seva with a Smiling Face”.