Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Friday said the railways would come out with the Model Concession Agreement (MCA) in a month, paving greater role for foreign direct investment (FDI) and private sector participation in rail modernisation and improving infrastructure connectivity.
“The MCA will be out in one month. We want to take Indian Railways to new heights without investment this is not possible,” Gowda told mediapersons at the South Central Railway (SCR) office here as part of zonal consultations on performance.
The minister said private players “were coming in a large way” to take up rail modernisation and enhance its connectivity post the rail Budget.
Among one such thing, he noted the Union Cabinet had recently cleared JSW Group’s plans to link Jaigarh port near Ratnagiri district with the Konkan Railway. The port provides an important gateway for cargo flowing in and out of Maharashtra and parts of Karnataka.
The first leg from Jaigarh port to the Konkan Railway line (Digni) will tentatively be ready by 2015. The second leg to the Central Railway line is planned for 2017, stated JSW on its website.
On the formation of a new rail division after the Andhra Pradesh bifurcation, he said the committee concerned would submit its findings by Oct 14 and the Railways would implement it “depending on the requirement of both states and in accordance with the AP Reorganisation Act.”
The minister said the SCR was awaiting land allotment by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments for setting up the 1,200-wagon-per-year factory at Kazipet and a mid-life coach workshop at Kurnool, respectively.
Gowda said the railways was confident of meeting the budgeted freight growth of 20-23% for the year. According to him, during April-August this year, SCR freight stood at 46.5 million tonne, which was seven% more than the target.