Agreement to build the 362km Indore-Manmad New Railway Line project has been hailed by government minister Shri Nitin Gadkari as a major step towards development of deprived areas of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. He said that the logistics advantages of the project include providing a shorter route for passenger as well as the freight traffic originating from, terminating at or crossing through the region.
The MoU was signed by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), the ministries of shipping and railways and the governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Containers and other rail traffic from Indore and other central Indian locations have had follow a circuitous route through Vadodara and Surat to reach Mumbai, Pune and ports like JNPT, travelling a distance of 815km. The new project will reduce the distance from Mumbai/Pune to key central Indian locations by 171km, resulting in lower logistics costs. This is seen as especially significant as the new railway line will pass through the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor nodes of Igatpuri, Nashik and Sinnar; Pune and Khed; and Dhule and Nardana.
Implementation of the project will be through the Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL) using a joint venture special purpose vehicle (SPV) model.
The project is due to be constructed within six years.