The Railways ministry will be taking up the 21 port-rail connectivity projects, as identified under the Shipping Ministry’s flagship “Sagarmala” programme.
The project will be taken up at a cost of Rs 20,000 crores. “These projects are aimed at strengthening the rail evacuation network and the last mile connectivity to the ports. In addition, another six projects are being considered by the Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL),” said a Shipping Ministry statement.
The ministry further said that the IPRCL, incorporated by the ministry, would take up the projects after prioritizing them. IPRCL has already awarded three port connectivity projects for Vishakhapatnam and Chennai ports for quick evacuation of cargo, and another 19 projects are in the pipeline.
“Many port-rail connectivity projects have been identified as part of the National Perspective Plan, April 2016, under the Sagarmala programme including development of heavy haul rail line from Ib Valley/Talcher to Paradip. The project will help in transportation of thermal coal from Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) to various coastal power plants in southern India through coastal shipping,” said the statement.
“Other rail connectivity projects to major ports like Tuticorin and non-major ports like Dhamra, Gopalpur, Krishnapatnam have also been proposed,” it added.
These projects will enhance port connectivity to the hinterland and help in reducing logistics cost and time for cargo movement making Indian trade more competitive.