JNPT, Railways & States to sign MoU for Rs.8,574 crore Indore-Manmad (362 Km) Railway Line Project

MUMBAI: The government today said that JNPT, Railways and state governments of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra will enter into a pact tomorrow for implementing Rs 8,574.79 crore Indore-Manmad (via.Dhule-Malegaon) Railway Line Project.

“An MoU will be signed tomorrow between JNPT- Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Railways, Govt of Maharashtra and Govt of Madhya Pradesh for implementation of 362 km Indore- Manmad New Railway Line Project,” the shipping ministry said in a statement.

The project will reduce the distance from Mumbai, Pune to key central India locations by 171 km.

“The project passes through the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor nodes Igatpuri, Nashik and Sinnar; Pune and Khed; and Dhule and Nardana,” it said. The project is estimated to result in cumulative net economic benefits of Rs 15,000 crore in the first 10 years of operations.

Its logistic advantages include providing a shorter route for passenger as well as the freight traffic originating from, terminating or crossing through the region. The project will reduce the logistics cost for the cargo centres located in north such as Lucknow, Agra, Gwalior and Kanpur belt as well as Indore – Dhule – Bhopal region to the gateway ports JNPT and Mumbai.

It will be an alternate route to the existing central and western railway lines and will reduce congestion on the over utilised existing railway network. In addition, it will help in employment generation, reduction in pollution, fuel consumption and vehicle operating costs.

The Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL) carried out the feasibility, traffic and bankability for the project. Railway Board approved the implementation of the project through IPRCL on Joint Venture SPV model.

“The proposed SPV would be in the form of a Joint Venture Company between Shipping ministry or its nominated PSUs including JNPT (which will be the main promoter), Government of Maharashtra or its nominated PSUs/Entity, Government of Madhya Pradesh or its nominated PSUs/Entity, and others,” it said. The project will be constructed within six years, it added.

The equity participation would be in the ratio of MoS or its nominated PSUs/Entity including JNPT, which will be the main promoter 55%, Govt of Maharashtra or its nominated PSUs/Entity 15%, Govt of Madhya Pradesh or its nominated PSUs/Entity 15% and others inlcuding IPRCL, SDC etc 15%.

“The SPV will enter into concession agreement with the MoR Ministry of Railways (All Statutory approvals) will pay Historical cost of land post concession to the SPV”, the Ministry of Railway said.

The Manmad-Malegaon-Dhule-Indore railway project however is already delayed. MoS Defence, who is an MP representing Dhule-Malegaon parliamentary constituency had on April 02, 2017 had said that everyting was in place and all procedural formalities were in their final stages.

The Manmad-Indore railway line via Malegaon-Dhule was approved by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in the 2016 Railway Budget. This was the second time Railway Ministry had given nod to Manmad-Indore railway line via Malegaon-Dhule. In 2012, then Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi had included this project in the 2012 Railway Budget.

When Lalu Prasad Yadav was Railway Minister, he had ordered feasibility survey of this project. When Suresh Prabhu presented his first railway budget in 2015, he ordered a fresh survey allocating a fund of Rs.1.32 cr for the purpose.

The demand for the Manmad-Indore railway line via Malegaon-Dhule is not new. The first ever survey for this railway route, which is supposed to pass through Malegaon, Dhule, Nerdana, Shirpur and Mahu before culminating at Indore, was done long before the independence in 1908.