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Paradip rail link set to happen

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  • yogesh_b_k
    http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php? clid=9&theme=&usrsess=1&id=109221 KENDRAPARA, March 9. — The all-important Paradip-Haridaspur rail line, derailed
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2006

      KENDRAPARA, March 9. — The all-important Paradip-Haridaspur rail
      line, derailed for nearly a decade after delayed land acquisition and
      poor allocation from the Union rail budget, is finally being readied
      through PSU and private equity share holding participation.
      In the backdrop of a string of steel projects coming up in the Duburi
      area, the proposed 78-km broad gauge railway line is being viewed as
      a "communication lifeline" for the Paradip port.
      The project, when complete, will restore rail connectivity for the
      Paradip port with the mineral-rich hinterland in Orissa's Jajpur and
      Keonjhar districts.
      It would also go a long way in easing the traffic burden on the
      existing Paradip-Daitary expressway being widened by the National
      Highway Authority of India.
      Officials claimed that project construction is likely to commence
      this month, with equity holding of public sectors and industrial
      The Union government has so far allocated an estimated Rs 50 crore
      for the project conceived in 1996. The allocated amount met the
      required sum for land acquisition for the broad-gauge line.
      With budgetary provisions (little more than Rs 3 crore) being too
      little, the often-raised Central neglect theory has gained ground and
      there is doubt whether the project will see light of day. With the
      state going on a steel MoU-signing spree, the need for early
      completion of this vital rail project was felt all the more. This
      apparently prompted the rail ministry to invite private participation
      in terms of equity share holding, said an officer of East Coast
      The projected cost is pegged at at least Rs 350 crore and the rail
      budgetary allocation would have taken years for the rail line to
      become operational. That's why public sectors and private
      entrepreneurs were taken into confidence to invest equity shares in
      the project as the likely traffic return from the rail project has
      gone up by 22 per cent.
      Under the aegis of the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, a Central government
      undertaking, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) has been constituted to
      expedite completion of the BG rail link, East Coast Railways
      officials said.
      The SPV is a registered as a company with an equity base of Rs 180
      crore and a capital cost of Rs 390 crore. The deadline for the rail
      line to become operational is now 2008, they said.
      The break-up of the equity holding pattern will be as follows: Rail
      Vikas Nigam-30 per cent, Government of Orissa - one per cent, Paradip
      Port Trust -10 per cent, Rungta Mines Limited-24 per cent, ESSEL
      Mining and Industries Limited-24 per cent and Jindal Steel and Power
      Limited-11 per cent.
      Prior to the floating of SPV, the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited had
      conducted a traffic appraisal study on the proposed BG rail link and
      the rate of returns from this project has increased by 22 per cent,
      as per the study's findings.
      The traffic appraisal study had been conducted before the state
      government had signed steel project MoUs.
      So the rate of return will be much higher by the time the rail link
      starts operating in 2008.
      More than 70 per cent of the required land has been acquired as the
      land acquisition drive that hardly moved for years has picked up
      momentum over the past six months.
      Of the 76 villages coming under the rail project in Jajpur and
      Kendrapara, compensation has been disbursed to oustees in 63 villages
      in accordance with the Orissa Land Acquisition Act.
      Land acquisition in 10 revenue villages of Jagatsinghpur had to be
      delayed as there was alteration of rail route passing through these
      East Coast Railways officials maintained that work on rail river
      bridges are planned to begin this month. Land acquisition is expected
      to be completed by the end of the current year.
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