Despite the project getting adversely affected due to Covid-19 induced lockdown, capital utilisation in the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) has registered an increase by 21 per cent in the first 10 months of the financial year 2020-21 as compared to the last fiscal.
Reviewing the progress of the mega project, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal noted that capital expenditure of Rs 8,201 crore has been registered as compared to Rs 6,783 crore for the last year in the same corresponding period.
According to the Railways, higher capital utilisation was possible due to the relentless monitoring of the project, which led to the resolution of issues which otherwise used to delay execution in the past.
Goyal directed the DFC management team and the contractors to take all possible steps to speed up the pace of works on all the sections of the Western DFC (1504 Route km) and Eastern DFC (1856 route km).
In the review meeting attended by senior officials, the progress of each individual section was discussed in detail and instructions were given to ensure smooth progress by resolving all hindrances.
During the meeting, it was decided that strict monitoring of work of all contractors be done. Resolution of all issues, including coordination with the States is to be done on a Mission mode.
Considered as a game-changer, Indian Railways is making dedicated freight corridors to provide exclusive movement on fast speeds for goods trains.
Currently, 657 km of DFC section has already been opened in 2020-21 and more than 1,000 trains have been run on this section.
In the first phase, the DFCC is constructing the Western DFC (1504 Route km) and Eastern DFC (1856 route km including PPP section of Sonnagar-Dankuni Section).
The EDFC starting from Sahnewal near Ludhiana (Punjab) will pass through the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, to terminate at Dankuni in West Bengal.
The Western Corridor connecting Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai will traverse through the states of UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra of WDFC and EDFC (excluding the Sonnagar – Dankuni PPP section) — a 2800 Km route — will be commissioned by June 2022.
Expected to contribute to the economic development of the country, the Dedicated Freight corridor aims to increase freight share of the Railways considerably.
Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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