The 1,506 km long Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) may be staring at another setback as the Dedicated Freight Corridor Council (DFCC) has called it quits with Tata Projects consortium. The extremely slow pace of execution or ‘intolerable’ delay by Tata Projects on the 102 km stretch assigned to it on the Western DFC is the reason for termination of contract. The development comes in the final stages of completion of the DFC
According to sources, Tata Projects has completed only 35% of the work on the the 102-km long Vitarana-JNPT section since it signed the contract in 2016. This led to the DFCC authorities taking the drastic step of cancelling the contract and opting for course correction. The DFCC claims that the stretch is “very very crucial for the completion of Western DFC.”
Since Tata Projects has sought out help from the judiciary, the DFCC will wait for till 18 November, after which a decision is likely to be taken either to execute it by itself or go for another option. “The decision was taken on 4 November and the Court has also not given the stay yet. So we are prepared for any situation and do the needful,” DFCC maintains.
The Western DFC is an under-construction broad gauge freight corridor in India which will connect Dadri in Uttar Pradesh with Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra, and would be electrified with double-line operation. The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is a public-sector unit (PSU) under the Ministry of Railways and is overlooking the development of Western DFC.
The Western DFC is exclusively for transporting freight at higher speeds with increased load carrying capacity. The main freight commodities include fertilisers, food grains, salt, coal, iron, steel and cement. The line will support freight trains reaching 1,500 m (4,900 ft) length, pulled by high-power WAG12 electric locomotives and running at speeds greater than 100 km/h. The trains will have radio communications and GSM-based tracking – a first in the Indian railway sector.
The Western DFC is expected to reduce the congestion of Indian Railways existing track and also reduce the time required for goods movement between Delhi and Mumbai. While currently it takes about three days for the freight movement from Delhi to Mumbai, the time would be reduced to less than 24 hours once WDFC is completed.