Bhadrak BHC: The Adani Group-operated Dhamra Port Company Ltd (DPCL) in Odisha will soon get the status of ‘Non-Government Railways’, the second such private company in the country.
DPCL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Ports and Special Economic Limited (APSEZ), signed a commercial agreement with the Ministry of Railways at its East Coast Railway Headquarters yesterday, a DPCL release said.
The agreement accords the status of Non-Government Railways (NGR) to DPCL under the Indian Railway Act, 1989.
This was the first of its kind NGR status granted in the state of Odisha and only the second one in India.
Non-Government Railway Policy promulgated by the Centre is a recent concept by which Indian Railways encourage its strategic partners like ports and industries to invest in creating additional railway infrastructure and as a result, connectivity to hinterland can be extended to major Railway network.
Since Railway connectivity is crucial to economic development, the Centre came forward with an ambitious plan under ‘Participatory Policy for Capacity Augmentation and Increasing Rail connectivity’ in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, the release said.
DPCL, with help from the Odisha government, opted for the scheme and constructed 62.5 km of railway tracks, which was the longest ever Non-Government Railway System constructed by any private organisation, it said. Rail movement to and from Orissa’s Dhamra port, a joint venture between Tata Steel and Larsen & Toubro, has started in May 2011, marking the commissioning of the port, and on 8th May, 2011 (Sunday), the first railway rake, after loading of around 3,400 tonnes of imported coal at the port, left for Tata Steel’s Jamshedpur plant. The empty rake had arrived at the port on the previous day following the issue of commercial notification by the Indian Railways on 6th May, 2011.
After acquisition by APSEZ, Dhamra Port was expecting to increase its capacity to more than 100 MMT per annum within a few years, by doubling the railway line and completing its second phase of expansion, the release said.
Through this initiative, Dhamra Port shall be able to connect the major portion of Bhadrak district with the National Railway Network, it said.
The rail connectivity to Dhamra port (62 km of route length and 120 km of track length including loops and siding) is the first test case under the new concept, R3is (Railways’ Infrastructure for Industry Initiative), introduced by the Railways.
The Dhamra port is covered by the private line model which presupposes sharing of revenue (after deducting various charges) between the Railways and DPC.
The port has acquired a 125 meter wide corridor from Dhamra to Bhadrak which can accommodate two rail tracks and a four lane road along with service lines viz. transmission line and pipe lines. For Phase-I, DPCL has constructed the 62 km rail connectivity (single rail track) from Dhamra to Bhadrak/Ranital Link Cabin on the main Howrah-Chennai line. From Bhadrak, East Coast Railway Network connects Dhamra to industrial regions of southern Orissa and Chattisgarh while South eastern Railway Network provides connectivity to the mineral rich belt of Jharkhand, West Bengal & Northern Orissa.
As part of Phase-II, DPCL will construct a four lane freight road along the corridor to service its upcoming container and general cargo terminal. Doubling of the rail track is also proposed during Phase-II.
Dhamra Port (Alpha Code: DPCB) was notified by East Coast Railway (ECoR) on May 6th, 2011, as a full rake handling point for both inward as well as outward traffic, thus paving way for cargo movement to begin to and from the Port. With this notification, the Port was declared commercially operational with May 6th, 2011 as the official Commercial Operation Date (COD).
The line was formally opened for freight movement as the first railway rake arrived at Dhamra Port for loading on May 7th, 2011. Since then, on an average, Dhamra Port has been despatching 6 to 7 rakes every day to destinations in Odisha, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.