Railways to invest Rs 5,000 cr for port connections in 5 yrs

Railways has drawn up an ambitious plan to meet a target of garnering private investments worth Rs 5,000 crore in rail connectivity projects to key infrastructure points such as ports in the next five years. It is meeting rail investors and customers, including big industrial houses on Saturday to compare notes on this front.

The national carrier has already zeroed in on a plan worth Rs 3,800 crore for six ports, like Dhamra, Hazira and others for connectivity with private-public-partnership.

With Pawan Kumar Bansal's renewed thrust to rail linkage to infrastructure sector through participatory modes, the Cabinet on Thursday approved the construction of three crucial rail link projects worth over Rs 2,483 crore to ensure coal supply to power plants and necessary infrastructure support for industrial development in the country.

The new 121.70-km-long broad gauge line between Gevra Road and Pendra Road and 63-km-long Raigarh and Bhupdeopur are two ambitious rail link projects which got the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

"The projects aim at ensuring smooth movement of freight and coal in the region," said railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

The CCEA also approved doubling of the 247.73-km-long Palanpur-Samakhiali section under the Western Railway at a cost of Rs 1,266.89 crore. While the Gevra Road-Pendra Road rail line is estimated to cost Rs 838.02 crore, the Rajgarh-Bhupdepur line is to cost Rs 379.08 crore. Both the projects have high rate of returns with 22.39 per cent and 26.11 per cent respectively.

The projects are likely to be completed in the next five years during the 13th Plan period.

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