The Rs 85.8bn ($US 1.6bn) project involves constructing a new 362km line from Indore southwest to Manmad via Dhule and Malegaon. This will reduce the distance by rail between Indore and Jawaharlal Nehru Port to 644km, compared with 815km for the existing route via Vadodara and Surat.

The Ministry of Shipping says the project will increase capacity and reduce the cost of transporting freight between northern India and the Arabian sea.

According to the ministry, Indian Port Rail Corporation (IPRCL) has carried out a bankable feasibility study, while the Indian Railways Board has approved the implementation of the project through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

The project is due to be completed within six years.

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Indore Manmad MAP