Interim Budget 2024: Work completed on eastern phase of dedicated freight corridor, focus on western DFC

Interim Budget 2024: The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, which has just been completed, and the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, which is nearing completion, are potential game changers for the country’s economy. The two corridors are expected to enable Indian Railways to speed up long-distance freight traffic and decongest railway tracks for passenger movement.

Also, the two corridors will reduce highway congestion on the busy Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes as most of the freight traffic will shift from road to rail.

Construction of the two projects, which began after the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014, has seen a huge investment of around Rs 1.24 lakh crore to modernize the country’s infrastructure and accelerate growth.

The EDFC, which stretches 1,337 km from Ludhiana in Punjab to Sonnagar in Bihar, covering the coal fields of Jharkhand and West Bengal, has been fully completed and opened for commercial traffic on November 1. has been opened for Of the 1,506 km long WDFC connecting Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Navi Mumbai to Dadri on the outskirts of Delhi, 1,176 km has already been constructed and the rest is expected to be completed soon.

Dedicated freight corridors provide an average speed of 50-60 kmph, almost three times higher than regular railway tracks, on which freight trains have to stop or slow down to allow passenger trains to pass.

Currently, EDFC has 140 trains running on various sections and the track network has the capacity to accommodate 250 trains per day. With the completion of EDFC, the travel time from Sonanagar to Delhi has reduced from 35-50 hours to 18-20 hours.

The DFC will enable India to reduce its high logistics costs from around 13-15 percent of GDP to a target of eight percent, which is in line with global standards. Additionally, each kilometer-long freight train on EDFC will displace approximately 72 trucks on an average. This will reduce congestion on India’s congested roads and highways, which carry 60 percent of the country’s goods.

The Eastern Corridor connects the coal fields of Jharkhand and West Bengal, such as Eastern Coalfields Limited, Central Coalfields Limited, Bharat Coking Coal Limited and Northern Coalfields Limited, with power plants in North India.

With freight trains on this corridor reaching a maximum speed of 100 kmph, faster delivery of coal to power plants has significantly reduced transportation time and lowered logistics costs.

Faster transportation increases efficiency in the power sector, which often faces massive blackouts due to non-arrival of coal stockpiles. The movement of iron and steel and other essential goods has also increased.

The opening of this section has not only reduced the pressure on the Delhi-Howrah main line but also helped in faster and smoother operation of trains on the freight corridor. This has helped start additional passenger train services on the Delhi-Howrah main line.

The corridor is also promoting broader economic development. For example, a multi-modal logistics park will be developed around New Kanpur Junction, which will provide efficient cargo transportation facilities and create new employment opportunities in sectors like agriculture, food processing, MSME and handicrafts.

Similarly, the Western Corridor is also designed to play an important role in accelerating economic growth and enabling Indian industry to become more competitive in the global market as the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in the northern and western hinterland of Navi Mumbai. are connected to A link is available for

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