The delay in approval by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) for the proposed 160 km long railway line between Hubli and Ankola, which connects the north Karnataka hinterland to the upcoming Tadadi port and existing Karwar ports, has resulted in cost escalation of the project by Rs 600 crore. The cost of the project is now estimated at Rs 2,200 crore, a top government official said.
The state has requested the Railways to take up the project on public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
“The infrastructure development department (IDD) has sent the Environment Impact Assessment report prepared by a team of experts from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, to the MoEF and Central Empowered Committee (CEC). We are waiting for a date from them for a hearing in this regard before they accord approval for the project,” Dr Rajkumar Khatri, Secretary, IDD, told Business Standard.
He said a team of experts comprising T V Ramachandran and T G Seetharaman had recommended certain measures to avoid deforestation in the Western Ghats area.