New firm for better Rail connectivity at Major Ports to be registered soon

New Delhi: The Union shipping ministry’s plan for a company to work on enhanced port-rail connectivity is to bear fruition soon. The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in this regard is likely to be registered by the end of next month.

The 12 major ports and Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL, an arm of the railways ministry) will pool resources for the formation. Details of the first tranche of projects to be undertaken by the SPV are being discussed between the major ports and the  ministry. The initial projection is of at least Rs 200 crore. RITES, the government-owned engineering consultancy company, specialising in transport infrastructure, has been brought in to work on some of the feasibility reports for the potential projects.

It will be registered under the Companies Act, with an initial authorised share capital of Rs 100 crore, divided into a million equity shares of Rs 1,000 each. The initial capital will be Rs 500 crore, with further provision to raise the cap. The 12 major ports are to contribute Rs 90 crore of the Rs 100 crore, each having equity shares. RVNL will contribute the remaining Rs 10 crore.

“The SPV will undertake modernisation of rail infrastructure at ports, raise financial resources for handling port-related railway projects and also operate and manage the internal port railway systems,” said a ministry official.

In 2013-14, about 28 per cent of the total cargo handled by major ports was transported by Indian Railways, to and from the hinterland. Non-major ports handle 60-90 per cent of their cargo volumes through the rail network.