The project calls for building a rail line from Jaigarh Port to Digni near Konkan Railway’s Ratnagiri station.
In a big boost to the finances of Konkan Railway, the actual construction work for connecting Konkan Railway to the nearby port of Jaigarh will commence from Saturday, March 25. Union Minister for Transport and Ports Nitin Gadkari, along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, will lay the foundation stone for the 33.7 km long rail connectivity project.
The project calls for building a rail line from Jaigarh Port to Digni near KR’s Ratnagiri station. The line will involve building six tunnels with a total length of 18.8 km. Speaking to media, Sanjay Gupta, the Managing Director of Konkan Railway Corporation Limited said that the project is worth Rs.800 crores. Girish Karandikar, senior PRO of KR, confirmed that work would commence from Saturday.
An official from Chief Minister’s office said that three hours have been reserved in the Chief Minister’s schedule for this program, since it is one of the important infrastructure projects that will boost income for the Konkan Railway and also indirectly help the state. An official said that it would be a big boost for Konkan Railway income since instead of bringing the goods, namely oil, iron ore or other goods by loading trucks, they can be easily brought to Konkan Railway with the help of 55-odd wagons directly from the port to Digni station.
As per current estimates, the rail line can handle as much as 12 million tonnes per annum of cargo from the port to KR. Jaigarh Port plans to increase its capacity to 65 million tonnes per annum by 2020.
The line could be a boon for KR which, despite being one of the busiest passenger sections in the country, could do with a rise in freight traffic on its line. KR had missed having Mangalore Port as one of its freight hubs when the boundaries of the then under-construction line was redrawn in 1994. With Mangalore Port going to Southern Railway (SR), KR was left with a predominance of passenger trains.
The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to execute the projects was incorporated as Jaigarh Digni Rail Limited on May 21, 2015, and the Memorandum of Understanding between this SPV and KR was signed on June 28, 2015, in the presence of CM Fadnavis and railway minister Suresh Prabhu