Ircon International (IRCON), a unit of Indian Railways, and Bastar Railway Private (BRPL) have signed a project execution agreement to build a 140km railway line between Jagdalpur to Rawghat in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh.
BRPL is a joint venture company between National Mineral Development (NMDC), Steel Authority of India (SAIL), IRCON and Chhattisgarh Mineral Development (CMDC).
The state-owned company NMDC is currently the largest shareholder in BRPL, possessing 43% equity stake.
The rail corridor agreement is expected to cost nearly Rs25.38bn ($394m) and was signed in the presence of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who also inaugurated the BRPL logo.
Land acquisition has already been commenced for the first phase of the project, which will see construction of the main rail line and 13 railway stations.
The details of a 101km stretch currently slated for development between the Bastar and Kondegaon regions has been sent to the Ministry of Railways, and is expected to be published in the Gazette.
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Chief Minister Singh directed the officials present at the event to carry out the land acquisition, and the diversion and reforestation of forest land, within the next three months.
The construction of the railway line is expected to begin in January 2018.
The project is expected to benefit the sponge iron industry upon completion, as it will enable companies to transport their products via the newly constructed railway line, reported Times of India.
Chhattisgarh Department of Mineral Resources official Subodh Kumar Singh and several BRPL directors were also present at the signing event.
NMDC is a fully owned public enterprise under the control of the Government of India's Ministry of Steel that was initially incorporated in 1958.
It produces around 30 million tonnes of iron ore from three fully mechanised mines located in Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.