India signs $1100 million pact with World Bank for Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor

12 Dec 2014


India has inked a $1,100-million IBRD direct lending pact with the World Bank for phase two of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC), DNA newspaper reported.

The guarantee agreement was signed by  Onno Ruhl, country director World Bank and Tarun Bajaj, joint secretary in the department of economic affairs, ministry of finance.

The EDFC-II Project is aimed at augmenting rail transport capacity, improving service quality and enhancing freight carriage throughout on the 393 km Kanpur-Mughal Sarai section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.

It would also help develop institutional capacity of Dedicated Freight Corridoor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) to build, maintain, and operate the entire DFC network, according to an official release.

This project was in continuation of the Phase-I of the EDFC Project currently under implementation by the DFCCIL with a World Bank loan of $975 million on the Khurja-Kanpur stretch of the Eastern rail corridor (Ludhiana-Delhi-Kolkata).

The project would directly benefit the power and heavy manufacturing industries of northern and eastern India, which relied on railway network for transportation of their material inputs as also for the distribution of bulk processed and semi-processed commodities and consumer goods.

With the decongestion from the project of the existing passenger lines railway passengers would also be benefited.

Meanwhile, the government was all set to place Rs20,000 crore worth of orders for the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) which is slated for commissioning by 2019, Business Standard reported.

This would come as good news for L&T, GMR, and GVK and other construction companies. The project having an outlay in excess of Rs80,000 crore is being set up by Indian Railways to supplement the rail transport capacity.

Meanwhile, like any other infrastructure project, there are stretches of land that the government has found difficult to acquire, for instance, the western corridor of DFC was through pass through Panvel and then proceed towards Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).

However, land acquisition for DFC had run into problems at Panvel where several other projects were also converging like the proposed CST-Panvel fast corridor, upcoming airport at Navi Mumbai, suburban sections on the Virar-Vasai-Diva-Panvel line and finally, construction of the Panvel coach complex.

The DFC authorities have asked for additional land from CIDCO.

Also frequent management changes and availability of adequate resources at the mid level had also been a bane for DFC till date.

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