IRCON, the construction arm of Indian Railways, has floated tenders for the construction of Coal India’s 135-km east-west rail corridor Chhattisgarh East-West Railway Limited (CEWRL), at an estimated cost of 4,970 crores.
In a bid to evacuate an increased quantity of coal through rail mode from potentially high-yielding opencast mines of its Chhattisgarh-based subsidiary South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), CIL has formed two special purpose vehicles (SPVs) for the construction of rail lines.
While one of the SPVs, Chhattisgarh East Rail Limited (CERL), set up to develop the 136-km east rail corridor at an estimated cost of ₹3,055 crores, is already partly operational, two large-value tenders for the construction of the 135-km rail line from Gevra Road to Pendra Road, to be developed by CEWRL, have been floated recently. The project is anticipated to be completed by 2023.
The joint venture partners in CEWRL include SECL, representing CIL and the Ministry of Coal, with a 64 percent stake, and IRCON holding a 26 percent stake. Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd is the third partner chipping in with the remaining 10 percent.
“IRCON, the executing agency, has floated tenders for the work after the SBI-led consortium of six banks, which are the lenders to this rail corridor, released Lenders Confirmation Notice (LCN) for ₹400 crore as first disbursement in the first week of September 2020. Engineering plans for CEWRL were already in place. And now with finance tied up, the tender has been floated,” said a senior executive of CIL.