IPRCL to construct 15 rail bridge projects near Ports to improve cargo evacuation

NEW DELHI: Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL), a firm formed under the Sagarmala initiative with a mandate to improve port connectivity, has identified 15 rail over-bridge and under-bridge projects for construction to improve evacuation of port cargo.

IPRCL is an organisation under the Shipping Ministry with stakes held by several ports. These are basically flyovers that cost about ₹100 crore each. The rail bridge projects were earlier implemented under the Railway Ministry.

“Some of the first few projects to be taken up include those near Machlipatnam, Krishnapatnam, Kandla port and New Mangalore Port,” Anoop Kumar Agrawal, Managing Director, IPRCL, told.

Port connectivity

The firm has equity from 11 ports and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL). Till now, IPRCL had been constructing rail link projects for port connectivity. The Ministry of Road Transport, Highways had handed over 208 such rail over-bridge and under-bridge to IPRCL under the Sethu Bharatam programme from which the above mentioned coastal connectivity projects are being implemented first.

In some of the other projects, IPRCL is also building a heavy haul rail corridor, which will be a bypass to Cuttack to link it with Paradip port.

The Odisha government will be taking equity and we are also in talks with Coal India,” said Agrawal. IPRCL is also in talks with the Adanis to have a rail link for Dhamra Port and another link near Gopalpur port.

The other works where IPRCL is involved include Indore-Manmad line where JNPT will have a stake and a link for Karwar port in Karnataka. It is also undertaking two big railway yards at Sahibganj and Haldia.

At a workshop last week, Agrawal had flagged an issue for the Union Cabinet to be taken up through appropriate authorities. The issue was related to the running of a passenger train on goods railway link, which spikes the maintenance cost of a railway line, and makes the non-government railway unviable