Narayan Rane proposal for toy train along the Konkan coast

Pic for representation purpose only

Proposal was first initiated by former railway minister Suresh Prabhu. Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Narayan Rane has revived the proposal for a new railway line with a toy train for tourist purposes, along the Konkan coast, calling upon Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for the same. The proposal had been first initiated by former railway minister Suresh Prabhu.

‘First tourist district’

“You may be aware, Sindhudurg in Konkan region of Maharashtra is the first ‘Tourism District’ in the country. With serene beaches, picturesque mountains, breathtaking waterfalls, magnificent sea forts and meandering rivers, Sindhudurg has always been a tourists’ delight. Keeping in view the huge tourism potential, a few years ago, the Konkan Railway had carried out a survey for operating a tourist/toy train to and fro Kankavli and Sawantwadi via Devgad, Malvan and Vengurla. The project is still pending with the Konkan Railway and it has the potential to create a major spin-off effect on the economy of the region,” Rane said.

“I had initiated it. The idea was to connect all coastal areas with the hinterland. I had requested the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to implement the Sagarmala project (interlinking between railways, roads, and water transports), which he announced on August 15, 2003 from the Red Fort, when I was heading the interlinking of rivers so that all ports, minor and major, get developed along with the hinterland. Supplementing that as Minister of Railways, I started working on this rail connectivity,” former railway minister Suresh Prabhu.

“I had already included in my budget Karhad-Chiplun on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model and the Kolhapur-Vaibhavwadi rail link, for which budget provision had been made. So it was a very comprehensive strategy of all minor ports and rail connections,” Prabhu added.

To promote tourism

This time Rane has requested a 21st Century tourist/toy train service on the lines of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or the Matheran Hill Railway in the Konkan region in the interest of promoting tourism in Sindhudurg district.

As per details available, the proposed project is about 127-km long along the coast and Rane had first written a letter to Vaishnaw about it in 2021. As the project is proposed to be done with partial investment from the Maharashtra government, Rane met Shinde on Thursday seeking his intervention. 

Courtesy: Mid Day

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