On December 29, 2020, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated 2 Railway projects for the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) namely the 351-Kms long New Bhaupur-New Khurja section in Uttar Pradesh (UP) which has been built at a cost of INR 5, 750 crores and Operational Control Centre (OCC) at Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. It is expected to be one of the largest control centres in the world.
Union Minister for Railways, Piyush Goyal & Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath were present during the event.
New Bhaupur-New Khurja section:
i.The inauguration of the section will benefit local industries such as Aluminium industry in Pukhrayan region of Kanpur Dehat, Glassware industry of Firozabad, Asafoetida production of Hathras, dairy sector of Auraiya and locks & hardware in Aligarh district.
ii.It will decongest the Kanpur-Delhi mainline and enable Indian Railways to deploy faster trains.
iii.Tata-Aldesa joint venture was responsible for the civil work on the section, French major Alstom undertook the signalling and electrical works.
Operational Control Centre (OCC):
i.The OCC will be the Command Centre of the entire route length of EDFC.
ii.It will be one of the largest structures of its type and will be equipped with modern interiors, ergonomic design & best-in-class acoustics.
Highlights from PM’s address:
i.The Government of India has set its focus on five wheels – highways, railways, airways, waterways & i-ways (Information ways) for developing the country.
ii.He emphasized the need for dedicated freight corridors to meet the rising demands of the economy.
iii.He stated that if the speed of goods trains is slow, the cost of transportation will also become higher.
Dedicated Freight Corridors:
Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor:
i.1,856 km-long Eastern DFC is from Sahnewal near Ludhiana, Punjab to Dankuni, West Bengal.
ii.The route has coal mines, Thermal power plants & industrial cities. Feeder routes are also under development for EDFC.
iii. 60% of EDFC falls in Uttar Pradesh.
Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC):
i.1,504 km-long western dedicated freight corridor runs from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai to Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.
ii.Ports like Mundra, Kandla, Pipavav, Dawi & Hazira would serve as feeder routes.
Dedicated Freight Corridors is being constructed by Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL).
i.The Industrial Corridor of Delhi-Mumbai & Amritsar-Kolkata will be developed around both the EDFC & WDFC.
ii.Similarly, North – South & East – West Corridors are being planned by the Government of India.
iii.Dedicated freight corridors will reduce the problems of delayed passenger trains and will also increase the speed of freight trains by 3 times. Freight Trains will also be able to carry double the volume of goods.
PM flags off 100th Kisan Rail:
On December 28, 2020, PM virtually flagged off the 100th ‘Kisan Rail’ from Sangola (Maharashtra) – Shalimar (West Bengal).
i.The Government of India has extended a 50% subsidy on transportation of fruits & vegetables.
ii.The 1st Kisan Rail was introduced from Devlali (Maharashtra) – Danapur (Bihar) on August 7, 2020. It was extended up to Muzaffarpur in Uttar Pradesh.
iii.The Train permits loading & unloading of perishable commodities at all stoppages with no cap on size of consignment.
Recent Related News:
i.On August 7, 2020 Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Railways and Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare flagged off the India’s 1st Kisan Rail
About Ministry of Railways:
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal
Headquarters – New Delhi