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New Delhi : Work on the 103 km Kolhapur-Vaibhavwadi section of Konkan Railway will begin soon. This decision was taken at a review meeting of Konkan railway chaired by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi on July 31, 2018. The meeting was attended by the Chairman, Railway Board, CMD, Konkan Railway, and other senior officials.

During the discussions the Minister said that the construction of the Kolhapur-Vaibhavwadi section will be a game changer for not only the Konkan Railway but also for the region and the economy of Maharashtra. It will link the coastal region of Maharashtra with Western Maharashtra, lead to development of ports and harbours in the coastal region and allow flow of goods from the hinterland to the coast, according to a PIB release.

Prabhu said that the construction of this line will also facilitate the movement of petroleum from the world’s largest integrated refinery cum petrochemicals complexes being built near Vaibhavwadi in Ratnagiri district in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. The USD 40 billion mega refinery is being built by IOC, BPCL and HPCL and is expected to be commissioned by 2022. It will have a capacity of 60 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA). Kolhapur-Vaibhavwadi line will facilitate movement of petroleum and petrochemicals from the refinery to the coast. The Minister  explained that the future economic growth of Maharashtra depends on connectivity of its coastal areas with the rest of the state and the country.

CMD, Konkan Railway, informed the Minister that in order to extend services of Konkan Railway to more villages and towns in the region, 10 new stations are also being built. The first station will be inaugurated in January 2019. The Kolhapur-Vaibhavwadi line has already been sanctioned by the Railway Ministry. Indian Railways will bear 50% of the cost and rest will be borne by the Government of Maharashtra.

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