CCEA approves construction of 107.76 km Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur Railway line

New Railway line b/w Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur to provide energy security, improved exports!

VAIBHAVWADI: The Government of India has approved construction of a railway line between Vaibhavwadi and Kolhapur in the state of Maharashtra.

The project received approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

The 107.76km-long rail line will be built by Construction Organization of Central Railway at an estimated cost of Rs.34.39bn ($485.02m).

The proposed route will pass through the districts of Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, connecting the Kolhapur railway station on the Pune-Kolhapur section with Vaibhavwadi Railway Station on the Roha-Madgaon section.

Once complete, the rail route will benefit several power plants in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka by facilitating thermal coal transportation.

The Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur rail route will also benefit the districts of Belgaum, Hubli, Hospet, Bellary, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Latur, Parliand Solapur by offering better connectivity to western ports.

Additionally, it will offer an additional and shorter alternative route for freight trains operating on existing Vaibhavwadi-Roha-Pune and Miraj-Pune-Panvel-Pen routes.

Vijaydurg port, Gulbarga, Adilabad and other industrial clusters in the region will be able to utilise the Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur line for better connectivity with the west coast.

The project is expected to be completed by 2023-2024.

Last month, the government approved two rail projects in Uttar Pradesh and one in Assam to boost railway connectivity.

These three projects have a combined value of Rs.60.11bn ($872.5m).

This fiscal year, the government has allocated Rs.658.37bn ($9.62bn) in the union budget to Indian Railways. The allocation will be used to build new lines, as well as for maintenance and signalling upgrades.

New Railway line b/w Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur to provide energy security, improved exports

The recently approved plan of Ministry of Railways to construct the new line between Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur, which is now Shri Chhatrapati Shahumaharaj Terminus, will provide opportunities for industrial development, together with providing energy security, improved exports and enhanced connectivity.

The 108 km long line will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 3,439 crore and will be completed by 2023-24. This will be executed by Construction Organisation of Central Railway.

The proposed alignment from Vaibhavwadi to Kolhapur (now Shri Chhatrapati Shahumaharaj Terminus) passes through the districts of Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg of Maharashtra state. The proposed alignment would link Kolhapur railway station (now Shri Chhatrapati Shahumaharaj Terminus) on the existing Pune-Kolhapur section of Central Railway with Vaibhavwadi Railway Station on the existing Roha-Madgaon section of Konkan Railway, official sources here said.

The proposed link would reduce the distances for thermal coal transportation for a number of power plants in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

There will also be reduction in distance and time taken for freight trains running on the existing Vaibhavwadi-Roha-Pune route and Miraj-Pune-Panvel-Pen route if the same is routed via the Vaibhavwadi–Kolhapur (now Shri Chhatrapati Shahumaharaj Terminus) project line. This project will also generate employment direct during construction for about 26 lakh mandays, an official communique said.

The addition of Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur (now Shri Chhatrapati Shahumaharaj Terminus) is expected to directly benefit the districts of Belgaum, Ballari, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Latur, & Solapur and create a shorter evacuation route to western ports as there is a lack of Rail connectivity between Central and Konkan regions leads to longer supply routes for power plants in the Northern Karnataka and Southern Maharashtra region which affects supply coming from ports like Mumbai, JNPT, Krishnapatnam and New Mangalore due to longer rail route of Ratnagiri-Panvel-Pune route.

Kolhapur cluster, as part of western Maharashtra, has a vibrant industrial belt which consists of manufacturing based industries, auto parts and ancillary, sugar manufacturing, textiles, edible oil processing factories. With the increased industrial development in and nearby area of west coast, imports are going to increase in future.

Also, with the proposal of world class infrastructure coming up at Jaigad and Vijaydurg on the west coast, the district would be benefitting immensely. Thus, with the advent of the Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur (now Shri Chhatrapati Shahumaharaj Terminus) line and the upcoming Vijaydurg port, Gulbarga, Adilabad and the nearby industrial clusters will be able to exploit the closeness to west coast.