The Government of India has approved construction of a railway line between Vaibhavwadi and Kolhapur in the state of Maharashtra.

The project received approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

The 107.76km-long rail line will be built by Construction Organization of Central Railway at an estimated cost of Rs34.39bn ($485.02m).

The proposed route will pass through the districts of Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, connecting the Kolhapur railway station on the Pune-Kolhapur section with Vaibhavwadi Railway Station on the Roha-Madgaon section.

Once complete, the rail route will benefit several power plants in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka by facilitating thermal coal transportation.

The Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur rail route will also benefit the districts of Belgaum, Hubli, Hospet, Bellary, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Latur, Parliand Solapur by offering better connectivity to western ports.

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Additionally, it will offer an additional and shorter alternative route for freight trains operating on existing Vaibhavwadi-Roha-Pune and Miraj-Pune-Panvel-Pen routes.

Vijaydurg port, Gulbarga, Adilabad and other industrial clusters in the region will be able to utilise the Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur line for better connectivity with the west coast.

The project is expected to be completed by 2023-2024.

Last month, the government approved two rail projects in Uttar Pradesh and one in Assam to boost railway connectivity.

These three projects have a combined value of Rs60.11bn ($872.5m).

This fiscal year, the government has allocated Rs658.37bn ($9.62bn) in the union budget to Indian Railways. The allocation will be used to build new lines, as well as for maintenance and signalling upgrades.