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       New Delhi, February 07, 2013: Union Cabinet today approved construction of a new broad gauge line between Raigarh (Mand Colliery) to Bhupdeopur Railway Station with a cost of Rs 379.08 crore.

     The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the construction 63 km length broad gauge line at a cost of Rs.379.08 crore, to be funded through a Joint Venture (JV) consisting of IRCON International Ltd (a Railway PSU) and other stakeholders – M/s. South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) and Government of Chhattisgarh, official sources said.

     IRCON will spearhead the process of formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with 26 per cent equity and the Government of Chhattisgarh would transfer government land free of cost, they said.

     The Chhattisgarh government would thus participate to the level of 10 per cent in equity, either through capitalization of land or through cash contribution and the SECL would take the balance equity, they added.

     The project is likely to be completed in the next five years, during the 13th Plan period. 
     Officials said, the Mand-Raigarh coal belt is a virgin coal field with reserves of mostly power grade coal and is strategically located to bridge the gap between demand and supply of Western India.

     The total geological reserve of the Mand-Raigarh coal field is estimated at around 16,000 million tonnes. Thus, there is huge potential of coal reserves amenable for open cast mining and the area identified is considered a future prospect of sustained growth.

      At present, the coal field is connected by road and with the projected growth expected by the end of the 12th Plan period, it would not be possible to cater to bulk transportation by road only. Keeping this growth potential in mind, rail connectivity was essentially required for this coal belt, they argued.

      Therefore, this new broad gauge link between Raigarh (Mand Colliery) to Bhupdeopur Railway station on the Howrah-Mumbai Main Line was being proposed, to cope up with the demand of additional traffic generated by SECL, the officials added. 

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