RITES Ltd, the consultancy arm of Indian Railways, has proposed a heavy haul rail corridor connecting Salegaon (Maharashtra) with the Paradip port. The cost of the project is estimated at Rs 3,298 crore and it is being taken up mainly to boost coastal shipping of coal. Officials of RITES recently made a presentation on the proposed corridor to the Ministry of Coal. The project is proposed to be developed in two phases. In the first phase, the corridor will be built from Salegaon to Kandarpur near Cuttack — this is expected to be completed by 2021. This would help ease the congestion around Kandarpur. Subsequently, the corridor is planned to be extended to Paradip port. The commissioning of this phase is set to be co-terminus with an outer harbour planned by the major port under Government of India’s Sagarmala initiative. Paradip Port is developing the outer harbour with a capacity to handle 160 million tonne of cargo each year. This project is designed to augment shipping of coal to the southern states. Investment on the outer harbour is pegged at Rs 8,200 crore. The survey and alignment design for the proposed rail corridor is targeted to be done by December this year. Formation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and submission of draft detailed project report (DPR) are expected by March 2017.