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Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor to Take Off – Here is How the Project Will Revolutionize Goods Transport

On December 29, 2020 Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the ‘New Bhaupur- New Khurja section’ of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC).

EDFC is a part of bigger plan of Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) that India has planned. This gives an occasion to take a look at the Dedicated Freight Corridor Plan.

Dedicated Freight Corridors

As the name itself indicates, it is about having a separate track network for the transportation of freights across the country. This will result in efficient, timely and safe delivery of freights. Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) was set up as a special purpose vehicle to build and operate Dedicated Freight Corridors.

Dedicated Freight Corridors in Implementation – Why the Delays Have Lasted

Ministry of Railways is implementing two Dedicated Freight Corridors namely, Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni (1856 km.) and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (1504 km.). These corridors are targeted to be completed in phases by December 2021.

While reading about the advantage of having a dedicated track network for freights, one may wonder why the country took so long in initiating such project.

The inordinate delay on the parts of UPA government back then is the reason. A report from CNBC TV18 explains the context. “The 3,342-km Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) was first conceptualised in 2006 under the UPA government. In 2007, it had cabinet approval to begin work. By 2008, it had a soft loan approved by Japan International Cooperation Agency. However, the work on the DFC began only in 2010. It also missed its first and second deadline.”

Other Routes Being Studied Now

Detailed Project Reports (DPR) for new Dedicated Freight corridors are being carried on the following routes:

  • East Coast corridor- Kharagpur to Vijayawada
  • East-West Sub-corridor (i) – Bhusaval-Wardha-Nagpur-Rajkharswan-Kharagpur-Uluberia-Dankuni
  • East-West Sub-corridor (ii) – Rajkharswan-Kalipahari-Andal
  • North – South sub-corridor – Vijayawada- Nagpur-Itarsi
About Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and the Stretch Being Opened

The EDFC (1856 route km) starts from Sahnewal near Ludhiana (Punjab) and will pass through the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to terminate at Dankuni in West Bengal.

The 351 km New Bhaupur- New Khurja section of EDFC is situated in Uttar Pradesh and is built at a cost of ₹5,750 crores. The section will open new vistas of opportunity for the local industries. For example, Aluminium industry at Pukhrayan region, dairy sector of Auraiya district, textile production/block printing at Etawah district, glassware industry of Firozabad district, Bulandshahr’s pottery products will be benefitted by the opening of this stretch of EDFC. The section will also decongest the existing Kanpur-Delhi main line, so that the passenger trains can run faster.