New Delhi: The way has been cleared for the long derailed construction of the Dedicated Freight Corridor aimed at laying down separate tracks for the goods trains. The project was put on hold due to financial crunch and incomplete land acquisition but the two hurdles have been finally cleared out of the way. The ambitious project was to be completed by 2014 but now in spite of the speedy work, the project cannot be completed before 2015.

The upcoming freight corridor will lessen the rush on the busy Delhi to Kolkata and Delhi to Mumbai routes. The goods trains will be shifted to the new lines clearing the passage for the passenger trains enabling better speed and more number of trains on the routes. 

Under the freight corridor, two rail tracks are to be laid down: Eastern Corridor (Ludhiana to Dankuni) and Western Corridor (Mumbai to Dadri (Uttar Pradesh).  While the eastern corridor is to be funded by the Centre, World Bank and private sector; the western corridor will be laid up through Japan’s cooperation.

The funding of the Eastern Corridor has been divided into three parts: the World Bank is providing financial assistance of USD 2.7 billion for Ludhiana to Mughal Sarai route, while Railway will bear the expenses of the Mughal Sarai to Son Nagar route. Whereas, the further route till Dankuni is being built on the PPP model.

Moreover, the World Bank has already sanctioned USD 97.5 crore for the Vishva, Khurja to Kanpur line of 350 kilometres while the other two loan installments are in the line. But the project has been facing a roadblock due to the dangling land acquisition issue and contract allocation. All the formalities of the Ludhiana-Khurja line and Kanpur-Mughal Sarai line are expected to be completed by March next year. Then only the construction work will be flagged off in 2013.

On the other hand, the Japan Cooperation International Agency (JICA) would provide a loan of yen 679 billion for the western corridor, out of which yen 405 billion have already been sanctioned for the Rewari (Rajasthan ) to Makarpura (Vadodara) zone.

According to the officials of the Dedicated Freight Corridor, 10,850 acres of land is required for the project of which land acquisition process has already been completed for half of the land while the other half would be acquired by mid of 2012.

JPN/Bureau