The first phase of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project in India got a boost as the World Bank approved loan worth US $ 975 million dollar (approc Rs 4,368 crore). “This Project, which comes under the DFC Program of the Central Government, will help finance the 343 km Khurja to Kanpur section,” said the World Bank statement. “It will help increase the load carrying capacity of these freight-only lines and allow enhanced speeds of up to 100 kms per hour,” added the statement.
The 1,800-kilometre eastern DFC is being constructed for freight specific transport of commodities by Indian Railways between Delhi and Howrah. The current loan has a maturity of 22 years, with a grace period of seven years.
For developing the western corridor, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation India Limited (DFCCIL) has already tied up with the Japanese Bank of Industrial Cooperation (JBIC) for Rs 4,500-crore funding as loan for the first phase, likely to be commissioned in March 2016.
Funding of Rs 11,500 crore for phase-II, which is expected to be commissioned in December 2016, is also being tied up with the Japanese government, it said.
Freight traffic on the Golden Quadrilateral linking the four cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Howrah, and its two diagonals, Delhi-Chennai and Mumbai-Howrah, carries more than 55 per cent of revenue earning freight traffic of the Indian Railways.
The DFC program is scheduled to be completed in stages, with the western corridor (Delhi-Mumbai) and the eastern corridor (Ludhiana-Delhi-Kolkata) being the first two to be developed The DFC project, once commissioned, would enable freight trains to run at an average speed of over 65 kmph as against 22 kmph currently. The DFC program will enable the country to create one of the largest freight operations in the world. The DFC will reduce GHG emissions by 2.25 times over a 30 year period.