India is ready to forge ties with Germany to augment its infrastructure, including developing Rs 1 lakh crore projects, to provide connectivity to ports, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said. A German delegation, led by its Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, had a detailed meeting with Gadkari related to various aspects of infrastructure development. "We have sought Germany's co-operation in developing our infrastructure, including railway connectivity to our ports, in our planned Rs 1 lakh crore projects to be undertaken by Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd (IPRCL)," Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari told PTI. Gadkari said both the companies are set for collaboration not only for connecting ports to railways networks but also in areas of waterways and roads. The development follows inking of a pact between IPRCL and the German Railways Deutsche Bahn (DB) during the Maritime India Summit earlier this year for co-operation on modernisation of rail port connectivity and port rail facilities of Indian ports. "We had a very fruitful meeting and our co-operation will deepen," Gadkari said. The government has already proposed to engage IPRCL for the port connectivity projects identified under its ambitious Sagarmala programme and the corporation has been entrusted with carrying out the feasibility and implementation of 22 projects. Out of the total 22 projects, subject to their feasibility, 10 projects are likely to be completed during 2017-18 and 7 during 2018-19.
Five projects are at survey/detailed project report (DPR)/land acquisition stage, as per the government. For efficient evacuation of cargo from ports and to reduce logistics cost, last-mile rail connectivity of ports holds significance. Indian port Rail Corporation has been set up specifically to work in this area. It was proposed in today's meeting to form groups with representatives of IPRCL and DB to identify areas of co-operation and potential projects as also to identify cost effective new rail technologies that can be implemented. This would help bring in foreign investment and cost effective, environment friendly, innovative technology for the port-rail connectivity projects. Shipping Secretary Rajive Kumar, Road Transport & Highways Secretary Sanjay Mitra and other senior officials of the two ministries were also present during the meeting.
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