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Gujarat ports to get an edge with railway project
11 January 2006

AHMEDABAD: Itís a project that promises to give Gujaratbased ports a distinct edge in grabbing business headed from the northern hinterland to Mumbai-based ones by cutting not just rail distances by one-third but lowering freight costs substantially as well.

Shortly after embarking on the Rs 500-crore Gandhidham-Palanpur broad gauge conversion project, Kutch Railway Company Ltd, a special purpose vehicle floated to strengthen rail connectivity to Gujarat ports, is now planning a 223-km gauge conversion project between Bhildi near Patan and Samdari near Jodhpur at a cost of Rs 425 crore.

"The project will help ports like Kandla and Mundra lure expor t - import traffic to and from the northern hinterland traffic headed for JNPT by slashing distances by over 350 to 400 km from the existing 1600 km," Yogendra Sharma, managing director, Kutch Railway Company Ltd, told TOI here.

According to Sharma, Mumbai ports continue to be more attractive despite being around 1,800 km away because the double line Delhi-Mumbai corridor was a high speed one enabling goods trains to reach in 45 hours as compared to 70 hours for Gujarat ports that are connected by single line sections

Swati Bharadwaj-Chand
[ Tuesday, January 10, 2006 10:59:08 pmTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

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