Raipur, Feb 17: The Chhattisgarh government and the Indian Railways are all set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) later this month for setting up industrial rail corridors in the state’s vast and impoverished northern region that has an estimated 20 percent of India’s coal deposits, top official sources said Friday.
“Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh called on Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi Thursday in New Delhi and both have given the green signal to the ambitious industrial rail corridor project in Chhattisgarh,” a senior government official told IANS.
He added that the Chhattisgarh government and the Indian Railways will sign an MoU later this month for the execution of the project that will build about 453-km long new rail lines covering seven extremely backward but coal-rich districts.
The multi-million rupee project will prove to be a boon for the massive tribal and backward people of the area who have been left out of the mainstream development for a long time.
Sources say the Chhattisgarh industrial rail corridors project is basically the brainchild of Raman Singh, who has been heading the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the mineral-rich state since Dec 2003.
The project was prepared by a working group comprising mainly of top Chhattisgarh government officials and Arunendra Kumar, general manager of South East Central Railway (SECR), India’s most profit-making rail zone.
It will immensely improve passenger and freight rail services in districts where dozens of companies, including the public sector National Thermal Power Corporation, are either setting up major coal-fired power plants or are expanding their production capacities.