NEW DELHI: Germany’s Deutsche Bahn Engineering & Consulting is in talks with Indian Port Rail Corp. Ltd (IPRCL) to form a joint venture (JV) to develop rail connectivity for Indian Ports.
Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said in October that India and Germany were working together on projects worth Rs 1 trillion being implemented by IPRCL.
India has envisaged Rs 8 trillion of investment until 2035 under the Sagarmala programme, which involves the construction of new ports to harness the Country’s 7,517 km coastline and setting up of as many as 142 cargo terminals at Major Ports.
“Indian ports have enough funds. The idea is to set up a JV with Deutsche Bahn Engineering & Consulting for setting up railway port connectivity projects. This will be a PSU (public sector unit) to PSU arrangement. Deutsche Bahn will bring in the latest technology,” said a person aware of the JV plans.
IPRCL and Deutsche Bahn signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on modernization of rail port connectivity and port rail facilities of Indian Ports during the Maritime India Summit last year.
“Basically in railways there is always a lot of scope. So this particular German government company and they have signed an MoU for mutual cooperation. Now, as far as I believe, they have had a few rounds of discussions regarding where there could be synergies between the two,” Shipping Secretary Rajive Kumar said.
“This will improve the port hinterland connections to the railway network of Indian Railways. The MoU foresees comprehensive cooperation for designing the connection projects, drawing up the operations plan, and carrying out the engineering design and project management through to delivery to the port authority,” a spokesperson for Deutsche Bahn said, adding that negotiations are still in progress with IPRCL.
India will invest as much as Rs 3.9 trillion for creating and upgrading infrastructure in the next fiscal year. Of this, the Government has made an allocation of Rs 2.4 trillion for roads, railways and ports in 2017-18. Projects worth Rs 1 trillion are in various stages of implementation under the Sagarmala programme.
India has firmed up the contours of its ambitious multi-modal programme to reduce logistics costs and make the economy competitive. The strategy involves a reset of India’s logistics sector from a “point-to-point” model to a “hub-and-spoke” model and involves railways, highways, inland waterways and airports to put in place an effective transportation grid.