Railways near Financial Closure for Freight Corridor Project

The Indian Railways is in the process of achieving financial closure for its proposed Rs 30,000-crore dedicated freight corridor. It will seek the World Bank assistance for the Eastern corridor from Son Nagar to Tandarikalan, about 1190 km, which is claimed to be most important route for freight movement.The dedicated freight corridor project was conceptualised for reducing the unit cost of transportation by speeding up freight train operations and achieving higher productivity through better utilisation of railway assets,reduction in inventory costs and achieving greater customer satisfaction.The railways will pump in short-term investment of Rs 3,300 crore in the project and the rest will be through borrowings. As such an SPV has already been formalised for this project.Besides,the Japan Bank of International Corporation (JBIC) has expressed keenness to invest Rs 12,000 crore and is currently examining the Western corridor from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, which is about 1483 km. The railways is hopeful of tying up the required funds in the next nine months.The entire project is expected to be completed in the next seven years.The railways had already formed a core team that would work closely with consulting firms in executing the 3,000-km double line project. It has received about 40 applications from across the world, including construction and bridge design companies, which have evinced interest to participate in the project and would see the commencement of physical activity during the current year. This marks a great revival in rail construction.
The Indian Railways will spend Rs 12,000 crore on gauge conversion and doubling of rail lines to further strengthen the Golden Quadrilateral project that links all the four metropolitan cities in the country during this year.

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