Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: In another attempt to boost infrastructure, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited under the Union Ministry of Railways has formed a new special purpose vehicle (SPV) named Bharuch-Dahej Railway Company Limited (BDRCL) to implement the 62.36-km Bharuch-Samni-Dahej gauge conversion project in Gujarat.

This is one of the port connectivity projects under the National Rail Vikas Yojna being implemented by RVNL. Western Railway had proposed to build a third line from Virar to Vadodara. The Bharuch-Samni narrow gauge line conversion has been proposed as part of this line. Conversion of the spur line to Dahej has been proposed to provide connectivity of Dahej port to the broad gauge network serving the hinterland.

Presently the Bharuch-Samni-Dahej line is 62.36 km long, used for passenger traffic only. With the country's first chemical port being developed at Dahej with deep draft facilities, it will be a major chemical and petrochemical sea terminal. The Gujarat Maritime Board, GIDC and other agencies like Birla Copper, IPCL, GCPTCL, Gujarat Ambuja Cement and Petronet LNG have set up industries or bases in its vicinity including private jetties. RVNL has conducted a traffic appraisal. The hard project cost is Rs.158.7 crore and the land cost Rs.197.3 crore. The study revealed that the financial rate of return for this project is 16 per cent.

The SPV has been registered as a company with an equity base of Rs.65 crore with the balance being financed through non-recourse debt. The equity partners of the project are RNNL, Dahej SEZ Limited, Gujarat Maritime Board, Adani Petronet Port Private Limited and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers Limited.

RVNL is executing 46 projects at present at a cost of about Rs.12,000 crore to expand the capacity on the high-density network of which 14 are likely to be completed this month.