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.

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.