Another Freight Corridor in the Works

The Indian Railways plans to invest ₹44,000 crore to build a 1,100-km greenfield freight corridor on the east coast connecting Kharagpur in West Bengal with Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh.

The corridor, which is expected to carry about 200 million tonnes of freight per annum, is likely to be announced in the budget proposal for 2019-20.

The corridor will connect mineral rich areas of the country to industries in the south.

The construction work on the corridor will begin only after the DFCC delivers the 3,300-km long eastern and western freight corridors.

The two corridors, being constructed to connect the mainland with the ports on the western and the eastern coasts of the country, are expected to be fully completed by 2020.

The first phase of the two dedicated freight corridors project, India’s first mega railway project since Independence, being constructed at the cost of ₹81,000 crore, is likely to be completed by the year end.

The 1,500-km long western freight corridor runs from Dadri near Delhi to Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai while the 1,800-km eastern corridor is from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal.

DFCC will be making 432 km of the western corridor and 343 km of the eastern corridor operational by the end of the current financial year.

Once open, the stretches on the western and the eastern corridors will significantly reduce the travel time between Delhi and Mumbai and Delhi and Howrah, the two most congested rail routes in the country.

The construction of the western corridor is being fully funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, which has provided around ₹33,000 crore as soft loan. The eastern corridor is being partially funded by the World Bank.

Once operational, the corridors will increase the national transporter freight carrying capacity to over 2,000 million tonnes, up from the existing 1,200 million tonnes.

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