India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPort), the Ministry of Railways, and the governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh signed a MoU for the construction of a 362-km line between Indore and Manmad. The value of the project is USD 1 billion (Rs 88575 Cr) and it will be completed within six years.
The new line will reduce the distance from Indore to JNPort in Mumbai by 200 km and from Mumbai/Pune (in West) to key locations in Central India on Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor by 171 km.
Containers and other rail traffic from Indore and other Central Indian locations had to follow a circuitous route through Vadodara and Surat to reach Mumbai, Pune and ports such JNPT, travelling a distance of 815 km. The new line will provide an alternate route to the existing central and western railway lines and will reduce congestion on the over utilized existing railway network.
The project will be implemented by Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL) on Joint Venture SPV model. A Joint Venture Company will be formed between Ministry of Shipping or its nominated public sector undertakings (PSUs) or entity including JNPT, which will be the main promoter, with equity share of 55 per cent, Government of Maharashtra or its nominated PSUs or entity, Government of Madhya Pradesh or its nominated PSUs or entity, and others with equity share of 15 per cent each.
The logistics advantages of the project include the provisioning of a shorter route for passenger as well as the freight traffic originating from/terminating at or crossing through the region. The project will reduce the logistics cost for the cargo centres located in Northern India such as Lucknow, Agra, Gwalior and Kanpur belt as well as Indore – Dhule – Bhopal region to the JNPT and Mumbai ports.
According to the Ministry of Shipping, the project is estimated to result in cumulative economic benefits of Rs 15,000 Cr (USD 1.9 billion) in the first ten years of operations.