The ambitious infrastructure project of the Indian Railways, Dedicated Freight Corridor, has been delayed by six months due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, informed VK Yadav, Railway Board Chairman on Thursday.
The Dedicated Freight Corridor project is estimated at INR 81,000 crore and was scheduled to be completed by December 2021. The project consists of the Eastern DFC, a 1,839-km freight line from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni near Kolkata, West Bengal, and the 1483-km WDFC or western corridor connecting India’s capital Delhi and its economic hub Mumbai.
“We suffered a setback due to the coronavirus pandemic which led to issues with labour mobilisation. The new deadline is June 2022,”~ VK Yadav, Railway board Chairman
As per the latest data released from the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Limited (DFCCIL), the agency has completed 56% of its contractual work on WDFC and 60 per cent on EDFC.
The agency informed that 99% of the required land has been acquired. Amid the completion of the project, 70% of goods trains will be running on these corridors thus decongesting the Railway network.
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Yadav also said the Railways has three more DFCs in the pipeline, the surveys for which will be completed by 2021.
The Railways will also build a 4,000-km long dedicated freight corridor connecting industrial areas in the eastern and western parts of the country to southern India through major ports in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, a document on the planned corridors says.
The proposed DFCs are part of the next big ticket infrastructure projects of the Railways. These DFCs are — 1,115-km East Coast corridor from Kharagpur (West Bengal) to Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh); the East-West corridor which comprises 1,673 km connecting Bhusaval-Nagpur-Kharagpur-Dankuni (near Kolkata) route, and 195-km Rajkharswan-Kalipahari-Andal (West Bengal) route.
The third is the 975-km North South sub-corridor Vijayawada-Nagpur-Itarsi (Madhya Pradesh) route. These corridors are slated to be completed by 2030.