Several Indian and multinational companies, firms and financial institutions have shown keen interest to participate in developing the 374- km-long Sonnagar-New Andal section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor in the Public Private Partnership model.
The section, estimated to cost about Rs 12,000 crore, is expected to serve major power houses, industrial corridors and Multi Modal Logistics Parks (MMLP) in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
According to the DFCC, the organisations include multilateral financial institutions like World Bank and IFC, financial bodies like National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company Limited and many Indian majors.
Indian companies include Tata Projects, Adani Group, GMR Group, GR Infraprojects, iDeCK, Kalpataru Power Transmission, Megha Engineering and Infrastructures, MNCs like Siemens, ABB Power Products and Systems India, Sojitz-India and Sojitz -Japan, Nippon Koei India, KEC International and Consultancy Firms like KPMG among others.
Increasing trends in finished steel consumption and production would drive growth of steel traffic on the route. Further, to attract more traffic and achieve targeted rail share of freight, DFCCIL plans to develop MMLPs, sidings and feeder routes for last-mile connectivity along the section alignment.
Tremendous social benefit will accrue to the population in the catchment area who are engaged in agriculture with a substantial count being small traders, artisans or employed in industrial/commercial establishments.
The implementation of the project will lead to generation of new employment opportunities both during construction and post construction phases.
The cultural and living pattern of the area is expected to change as the proposed PPP section is expected to provide efficient rail connectivity for freight movement which could help in increasing the industrial activity in the region.
The economic benefits of the project are mainly due to release of capacity from the existing lines by shifting of freight traffic from Indian Railways to Sonnagar (New Chiraila Pauthu) – New Andal section of EDFC and reduction of commercial vehicular traffic on road.
Railway passenger and freight traffic on existing lines will benefit from the increased speed and reduced transit time due to enhancement of route capacity on the proposed corridor.
The project will lead to efficient and speedy movement of goods traffic, accruing substantial improvement in turnaround time of rolling stock resulting in saving in inventory cost.
Opportunities available to the concessionaire are lower risk to the private player due to revenue share vis-a-vis projected traffic, ease of funding with availability of 100 per cent FDI for the project.
The stakeholders of the project include Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), state governments and steel manufacturers who can be looked at as potential partners in the project.
A major USP of the project is the connectivity between Eastern DFC and Western DFC at Dadri (UP), enabling smooth flow of traffic from western ports to eastern parts of India.
Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!