The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the revised cost estimate of Rs. 81,459 crore for the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project. The Cabinet had in February 2008 approved the construction of the freight corridor.
The revised estimate includes Rs. 73,392 crore of construction costs and Rs. 8,067 crore of acquisition costs.
This cost does not include the cost of the 534 km Sonnagar-Dankuni section (in Eastern DFC), which is to be implemented through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Status: Already 75 per cent of the 4,807 hectares of land needed for the Eastern DFC has been acquired, and 85 per cent of the 5,860 hectares needed for the Western DFC has been acquired so far. Adesh Sharma, managing director of DFCCIL(Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India) recently said that he was confident of starting phased commissioning of the DFCs from 2018. Of the total 3,350 km of the DFC project, work is in progress in 360 km in EDFC and 650 km in WDFC.
What are DFCs?
With the present railway network in India becoming very congested, transportation of freight has been facing inefficiencies because of delays. To ease the overburdened network, government has envisaged dedicated freight corridors (DFCs). Of these the Eastern and Western DFCs are being implemented. They are expected to become the backbone of manufacturing sector in the country. They would be broad gauge corridors and fully electrified.
- The Western DFC starts from JNPT Mumbai and passes through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and terminates at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.
- The total length will be about 1,483 km.
- The Western DFC is projected to carry 161 million tonnes by 2021 and 284 million tonnes by 2036.
- The Western DFC has secured a loan of 645.173 billion yen (around Rs.45,434 crore) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency
- The Eastern DFC starts from Sahnewal near Ludhiana in Punjab and passes through Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand and terminates at Dankuni in West Bengal.
- The total length is about 1,856 km.
- The Eastern DFC is expected to carry around 153 million tonnes of cargo by 2021-22. This is set to increase to 251 million tonnes by 2036-37.
- The Eastern DFC has secured a loan of $2.725 billion (around Rs.17,327 crore) from the World Bank
The corridors will be connected at Khurja junction in UP, near to Delhi.
- For the speedy delivery of goods across the country by having a dedicated corridor exclusively for freight. A freight consignment today takes two to three to move between Delhi and Mumbai. After completion of DFC, the time will be reduced to less than 24 hours.
- The average speed of trains will increase to 70 km per hour against 25 km per hour now. The unit cost of transport is also expected to reduce 40 per cent making DFC more economical than other modes of transport.
- WDFC will involve movement of double-stack containers with electric traction for the first time in the world.
- This will also help in improvement of railways’ share in transport from 36 per cent.
- These Projects will significantly reduce transportation cost and benefit power plants, mines, ports, and boost trade and industry.