RVNL, Dighi Port inks MoU to build 34 km Port connectivity project


Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) and Dighi Port Limited, part of Balaji Infra Projects have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a joint venture agreement for building 34 km rail track on April 18, 2015.

The Signing of MOU between Satish Agnihotri , Chairman & Managing Director, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd and Vijay Kalantri, Chairman and Managing Director, Dighi Port Ltd., on Roha-Dighi Port Rail connectivity, in Mumbai, April 18, 2015. In the presence of Anant Geete, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister for Railways and Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways

The Signing of MOU between Satish Agnihotri , Chairman & Managing Director, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd and Vijay Kalantri, Chairman and Managing Director, Dighi Port Ltd., on Roha-Dighi Port Rail connectivity, in Mumbai, April 18, 2015. In the presence of Anant Geete, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister for Railways and Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways

The Dighi Port Rail project will connect the port to Central Railway routes and will a feeder route to Western dedicated freight corridor linking JN Port Ludhiana.

The new route will have a provision of running double stack containers and heavy freight trains.

The project will be electrified single line broad gauge of 33.76 km with 84 bridges, five tunnels and four stations.

The project development will cost Rs 800 crore and will be funded by equity and debt raised by the new special purpose vehicle (SPV).

Speaking to IRailNews, Vijay Kalantri, president and managing director of Dighi Port Limited said that the project will be completed in two year and the work will start within one month.

Speaking on the land acquisition, Kalantri said 80 per cent of the land for the project if government owned land and the balance 20 per cent is private, acquiring of land is not a problem, as this is a SPV project and we don’t need to pay as per the Land Acquisition Act.

By 2022, the port will cater to 100 million tonnes of cargo on this route as against the current 1 to 2 million tonnes that the port is moving through road, Kalantri stressed.

RVNL will hold 24 per cent stake, 11 per cent of stake will be held by Maharashtra government and the balance will be owned by Dighi Port.

Speaking at the MoU meet, Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister of Maharashtra said, most significant points of connectivity are Yavatmal, Gadchiroli, Beed, Nanded and Ahmednagar. This will change the entire landscape of the State.

The Chief Minister also complimented Suresh Prabhu, Indian Minister for Railways for giving  direction and momentum to the country and the State of Maharashtra in particular with rail connections across the country. Port led growth will play a very important role in the overall GDP growth of the country which is largely dependent on connectivity for industrialization and overall growth.

The Chief Minister also stated that several MoUs will also be signed in the near future and presently the western water front transport problems are being resolved and these developments will require New Finance models  which will have to be put in place.

This is the 2nd MoU after Jaigad which was signed in 2014 for a 35 kms railway line connection, Fadnavis said.

Vidharbha, Marathwada, Uttar Maharashtra should be taken on priority basis for railway connectivity which will help Konkan to get connected with the State, Fadnavis stressed.

CM also added that rail connectivity promotes economic growth by linking regions which have ports with those industrialized areas which do not have port connections, this provides job opportunities and overall growth of regions including backward and coastal areas.