World Bank, JICA And Tata To Participate In DFC's Sonnagar-Gomoh Project

World Bank, JICA And Tata To Participate In DFC's Sonnagar-Gomoh Project Indian Railways. (Representative Image) (Pic Via PTI)
Snapshot
  • The 262 km section of the corridor will be developed on public private participation model at an estimated cost of Rs 9,000 crore.

The World bank, JICA, SBI Capital, Siemens and Tata are among more than 40 potential investors who participated in the stakeholders meeting for the construction of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) Sonnagar-Gomoh section.

The 262 km section of the corridor will be developed on public private participation (PPP) model at an estimated cost of Rs 9,000 crore.

Around 100 participants from around 42 companies, financial institutions, banks participated in the meeting held through video conferencing.

Besides, the World Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency, financial institutions and banks like, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction
Company Limited, HDFC Bank, India Exim Bank, KPMG, companies like L&T, GMR, GR Infraprojects, Tata Projects, IRCON, Adani Group, Sojitz, RZD International LLC (100% subsidiary of Russian Railway) participated in the meeting.

Describing the Sonnagar-Gomoh PPP project, a landmark one, DFCC managing director Ravindra Kumar Jain said it would set a benchmark for future projects in the rail sector.

The section is expected to serve major power houses, industrial corridors and MMLPs in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Increasing trends in finished steel consumption and production would drive growth of steel traffic on the route.

As a part of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, the Sonnagar-Dankuni section (536 km) is approved by the Ministry of Railways to develop through public private partnership which forms part of the 1,875 km long EDFC.

Further, to attract more traffic and achieve targeted rail share of freight, DFCCIL plans to develop MMLPs (Multi Modal Logistics Parks), sidings and feeder routes for last mile connectivity along the section alignment.

The railways has directed to take up this project in two phases — Sonnagar-Gomoh (262 km) as Phase I and Gomoh- Dankuni (274 km) as Phase II.

Sonnagar-Gomoh section would be developed through design, finance, build, operate, maintain and transfer (DBFOT) mode for a concession period of 35 years including five years earmarked for construction.

The Sonnagar-Gomoh section offers high traffic potential. The section is expected to serve major power houses, industrial corridors and MMLPs in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Increasing trends in finished steel consumption and production would drive growth of steel traffic on the route.

In order to attract more traffic and achieve targeted rail share of freight, DFCC would 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 substantial population 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-Gomoh 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.

Comparative cost of rail transportation over medium and long distances is lower than the other alternative mode road. This will have a reducing impact on the cost of transportation to the
customer accruing ultimate benefit to the economy.

The proposed section is expected to provide connectivity to the movement of freight in the region to the ports along the west coast.

This would help in increasing the industrial activity in the region. The Sonnagar -Gomoh section would form an integral part of EDFC, which connects Dankuni in West Bengal to Ludhiana in Punjab.

The section is expected to offer high productivity, sufficiently large additional capacity, and the ability to take long haul rakes thus decongesting the existing rail network.

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.

Indian Railways is the lifeline of the nation. In order to make India a $5 trillion economy, it is essential to develop transport networks at the same pace. Development of transport infrastructure will give a major fillip for the growth of industries, commerce, export and import.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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