Railways Ministry has sought the approval of the Union Cabinet to build three
new Dedicated Freight corridor (DFC) networks at a total investment of about Rs
3 trillion, according to ministry sources. The decision may help Indian
Railways meet growing demand for faster and efficient movement of freight.
East-West Corridor (2,328km) will be built between Kolkata and Mumbai, the
North-South Corridor (2,327km) is planned between Delhi and Chennai and the
East Coast Corridor (1,114km) between Kharagpur and Vijaywada.
Railways’ DFC project involves constructing five freight corridors across the
country. The railways, through its arm Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. of
India Ltd (DFCCIL), is already building the first two freight corridors—Eastern
Freight Corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni (1,856km) and Western Freight
Corridor from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (1,504km)—at a total cost of Rs
corridors to become operational by 2021, Railways plans
railways plan to complete more than 60-70 per cent of the work in the two
corridors this financial year and make them fully operational by 2021.
railway budget 2016-17, the government had proposed to take up three more
freight corridors. Infrastructure projects typically have long gestation period
and some DFCs have taken over a decade due to hurdles over land acquisitions as
well as delay in sanctioning loans.
likely to be financed thru PPP raising funds from foreign institutions
projects are likely to be financed through public-private partnerships (PPP) or
by raising funds from foreign institutions. There is no official announcement
on the decision so far,
freight corridors are key to the government’s infrastructure projects that
seeks to decongest railway network, ensure faster movement of goods, increase
the national carrier’s freight capacity network and reduce overall logistics
cost for companies. Rationalization of freight rates has always been a top
industry demand as higher logistics expense escalates the overall cost of a
been grappling with high logistics costs of 16-18 per cent, making its exports
uncompetitive vis-à-vis China, which has lower Logistics costs of 8-10 per cent.
Earlier this month, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her maiden budget
speech said the government is in the process of completing the DFC project,
which will free up some of the existing railway network for passenger trains.
new DFCs will cover 5,769km. The preliminary engineering and traffic system
study of these corridors has already been completed. After the cabinet
approval, DFCCIL—a special purpose vehicle set up in 2006 under the railways
ministry—will undertake a detailed project planning including plans for land
believe projects like DFCs are important and must be given priority. “There has
already been a delay in completion of the project. The project requires large
amount of capital investment and adequate preparations for massive land
acquisition and arranging funds to ensure project happens on time,
first section of the Eastern DFC—200 km stretch from Bhadan to Khurja—and
western DFC—another 200 km from Rewari to Madar—has been completed, around
1,000km of DFC, including western DFC connecting states such as Haryana,
Maharashtra and eastern DFC connecting Punjab and West Bengal is expected to be
operational in the current year.