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3 new dedicated freight corridors to see Rs 2.17 lakh crore investment

Feb 2, 2021 / 12:52 PM IST

The asset monetisation plan includes leasing out the tracks to private players to operate their trains

The three upcoming dedicated freight corridors that the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned in her Budget 2021 is expected to see investments of about Rs 2.17 lakh crore, a senior government official told Moneycontrol.

The three projects are East-Coast Corridor, East-West Sub Corridor and North-South Corridor. Sitharaman had said in her Budget speech that the Eastern and Western dedicated freight corridors are expected to be complete by June 2022, while she also proposed its asset monetization after completion of the projects.

How asset monetisation will work in DFC?

The asset monetization plan includes leasing out the tracks to private players to operate their trains and allowing telecom players to use DFCs 2,800-kilometer long optic fibre network. The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCCIL) has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Railtel for the usage of this optic fibre network. The idea was first mooted by a high-powered committee of secretaries in 2020.

Status of existing projects

The total investment in Western DFC project is expected to be around Rs 51,101 crore, out of which Rs 38,722 crore is funded through a loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the remaining part through gross budgetary support. On the other hand, Western DFC will see an investment of about Rs 30,358 crore, of which the World Bank is giving Rs 13,625 crore.

Rewari to Madar stretch in Western DFC and Khurja to Bhaupur stretch in Eastern DFC is already commissioned and trains are already operating in these stretches. The remaining parts of the projects are expected to be complete in 2022.

Upcoming projects

The proposed 1,115 km East Coast Corridor starts from Kharagpur (near Hijli station of IR), passes through Rupsa, Jakhapura, Haridaspur, Rajatgarh, Khurda Road, Naupada, Viza Nagar, Vishakhapatanam and ends near north of Vijayawada Station of IR.

The project is expected to come at a capital cost of Rs 40,344 crore at an average of Rs 32.5 crore per km.

The proposed East – West DFC is planned between Kolkata (Andal/Dankuni) to Bhusawal, (including Rajkharsawan-Kalipahari-Andal route) with an approximate length of 1868 Km. The project is expected to be a game-changer for freight movements in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. This project is expected to cost around Rs 86,805 crore, at an average of Rs 37.29 Crore per km.

The third corridor or North – South DFC will start from Vijayawada to Itarsi covering 975 km through Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. This project is pegged at Rs 89579 crore at an average of Rs 35.36 crore per km.

Shine Jacob
first published: Feb 2, 2021 12:52 pm