New Delhi: Indian Port Rail Corporation (IPRCL), which started operations late last year, has a portfolio of 25 projects worth Rs 10,000 crore focusing on aligning rail with ports for smoother, cleaner and cheaper connectivity.
The company plans to start work on the Rs 4,300-crore contract connecting Odisha’s Paradip and Dhamra ports to coalfields at Talcher in the state by March 2017.
It would give a big push to coastal shipping under the government’s ambitious Sagarmala programme to enhance port connectivity and encourage coastal shipping of commodities to reduce overall logistic costs. Paradip is the second largest major port of India. It plans to double its present cargo handling capacity of 118 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 300 mtpa. The commodity-wise cargo handled include iron ore, thermal coal, coking coal, manganese ore, finished steel, fertiliser, project cargo, and containers. The Dhamra port in Odisha, a deep draft sea port, plans to enhance capacity to 142 mtpa over the next 10 years from 25 mtpa now.
The shipping ministry is of the view that ports have enormous growth potential given the vast hinterlands in Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and northeastern states.
According to a source in the know, IPRCL has 25 projects in its kitty and has already commenced work on eight of them.
The detailed project report (DPR) for four projects is underway and bids are expected to be invited by this month-end followed by contract award in March 2017. For seven such projects, DPRs are under final stages and bids would be called in the next financial year. The bidding process for the remaining six projects, for which detailed studies have been done, is yet to be finalised.
The company’s flagship project, the heavy haul rail corridor from Talcher to Paradip and Dhamra ports, would be a major breakthrough for rail-port connectivity in the country, an official said.
Besides the two ports, the proposed East Coast Dedicated Freight Corridor between Kharagpur (West Bengal) and Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) would also benefit from the corridor. Talcher coalfields cover an area of 1,800 sq km and have geological reserves of 58.57 billion tonnes of coal or 16 per cent of the country’s total dry fuel reserves.
The project has not begun. Therefore, it would be premature to forecast the probable year of completion of the project, the official cited above told Business Standard.
The existing rail corridor to Paradip and Dhamra ports via Talcher traverses a distance of 327 km on a common corridor up to Salagaon from where one leg of 95 km moves in south-eastern direction to Paradip via Cuttack and the other leg of 166 km towards the north to Dhamra port. Besides the Sagarmala programme, IPRCL is also building rail connectivity to dry ports, minor ports etc.
25 projects in IPRCL kitty Work underway for eight projects Bids for four projects to be invited by March 2017 Bids for seven projects to be invited in FY18 Bidding process for remaining six projects yet to be finalised