Railways to build a 4,000-km Freight Corridor to connect East, West and South industrial areas: Report


A 4,000-km 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 is being planned by the Indian Railways, as per a report on the planned corridors.

The Rs 81,000 crore Dedicated Freight Corridor 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.

There is also the 975-km North South sub-corridor Vijayawada-Nagpur-Itarsi (Madhya Pradesh) route.

It is the Railways’ single-largest developmental project currently underway.

Very soon, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is expected to begin the survey for these corridors and the entire project is hoped to be completed within a year’s time.

These corridors will provide connectivity to Paradeep, Dhamra, Gopalpur Ports in Odisha and Vishakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kakinada, Krishnapatnam and Machhalipatanam ports in Andhra Pradesh. This will lead to faster movement of goods and capacity in the over-saturated sections of the railway network.

This move will bolster the development of Odisha, with the proposed Kharagpur-Vijayawada corridor expected to pass through the state’s Kalinagar Industrial area, thereby connecting it with southern India.

This will lead to the Kalinagar Industrial area being connected with the western part of the country through the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.

The 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 ₹ 81,000 crore.

These two are set to be completed by 2021. Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav had earlier shared that the two cardinal projects of the Indian Railways– the Dedicated Freight Corridor and the bullet train project- will not be delayed despite the coronavirus crisis.

According to a RITES projection, the East-West (EWDFC) is likely to handle around 449.88 million tonne (MT) freight by 2031-32 and 690.6 MT by 2041-42, while the East-Coast (ECDFC) is estimated to handle 405.11 MT by 2031-32 and 861.02 MT by 2041-42. 

Last month, the Indian Railways stated that it was looking to invite private players for freight trains in dedicated freight corridors. The Railways is fast-tracking the process of auctioning routes in the dedicated freight corridors.

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