Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 2:
The Dhamra Port Company Limited (DPCL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ), signed a commercial agreement with Ministry of Railways at its East Coast Railway (ECoR) headquarters in the Odisha capital yesterday.
The agreement accords the status of Non-Government Railways (NGR) to DPCL under the Indian Railway Act, 1989. This is the first of its kind NGR status granted in Odisha and only the second one across India.
NGR Policy promulgated by the Union government is a recent concept by which Indian Railway encourage its strategic partners like port and industries to invest in creating additional railway infrastructure as a result, the connectivity to hinterland can be extended to major railway network.
Statistics say that at the time of Independence, India had a track length of 50,000 kilometres. After Independence, the country could manage an addition of nearly 20,000 track kilometres only. Since railway connectivity is crucial to the economic development of the country, the Centre came forward with a very ambitious plan under “Participatory Policy for Capacity Augmentation and Increasing Rail connectivity” in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
DPCL, with help from the Odisha government, opted for the scheme and constructed 62.5 kms of railway line. This is the longest ever NGR constructed by any private organization.This association with the Indian Railways is in line with the Adani Group’s commitment to nation building. It will also help in fulfilling the great expectations of local people, industries and economic growth of state as well as the Eastern part of the country.
After acquisition by APSEZ, Dhamra Port is expecting to increase its capacity to more than 100 MMT per annum within a few years, by doubling the Railway line and completing its second phase of expansion.
Through this initiative, Dhamra Port shall be able to connect the major portion of Bhadrak district with National Railway Network. Experts on the subject view that the success of the Dhamra Port in contributing towards the expansion of National Railways Network will set an example for other industries, mines and port sector in coming forward to build more railway network in future days for the benefit of the country.
The agreement was signed by Subrat Tripathy, Director and Chief Executive Officer of DPCL and P.C.Sahu, Chief Commercial Manager, Freight Service, East Coast Railway, Bhubaneswar respectively.
Binayak Swain, Chief Commercial Manager, Bijay Kumar, FA & CAO and M.K. Misra, Secretary to GM as representatives of Indian Railways and Sajal Mittra, Head of Railways, APSEZ were also present on the occasion.