The Indian Railways with an aim to aid infrastructure project and encourage more transport through Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCS) has decided to drop the additional charges it imposes on the larger goods consignments that move through DFC.
The Railway Ministry’s order said, all over-dimensional cargo (ODC) moving through the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) network will not attract additional charges. But this relaxation will be subject to the consignments falling within the maximum moving dimensions (MMD) of the freight corridor.
Any consignment whose length, width and height are such that one or more of these infringe the standard moving dimensions at any point from start to the destination, then the consignment is called an ODC, the order clarified.
This move will promote the utility of rail freight as the restrictive goods consignment dimensions are known to be one of the major reasons for falling utility of railways in transportation of freight.
“One of the reasons for low productivity in terms of throughput despite broader gauge as compared to other countries is due to adoption of restrictive moving dimensions on the railways. For example, the MMD of the railways is 26.5 per cent less than that of the MMD adopted by the Association of American Railroads. The full benefit of increase in axle load cannot be realised within the railway’s broad gauge, primarily based on maximum moving dimensions of 1929 which is highly restrictive,” the corporate plan of the DFCCIL outlines.
A railway ministry official said these steps will help attract potential customers across sectors. He adds, the focus has been to get more partners for freight operations while emphasising on the business development of the railways.
The Indian Railways has been continuously working to boost its freight operations. The DFC will make freight services more efficient.
In the first phase of its development, DFCCIL is constructing the 1504 km western DFC and 1856 km eastern DFC, including PPP section of the Sonnagar-Dankuni section. The WDFC and EDFC (excluding the Sonnagar – Dankuni PPP section) i.e. 2800 route Km will be commissioned by June 2022.
In December 2020, the New Khurja – New Bhaupur section of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, which was inaugurated by the PM, has already witnessed freight trains running at a top speed of above 90 kmph.
Source: Business Standard