Saturday, 27 June 2015

Dedicated Freight Corridors

Why in news?
The much-delayed project to build the ambitious eastern and western dedicated freight corridors has received a boost with the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approving a revised cost estimate for it. 

About Dedicated Freight Corridors:


Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd., the special purpose vehicle set up by the Railways to implement the project, is keen to complete it by 2017-18. Once the twin-corridor system is in place, it will transform the very profile of the Railways. 

Dedicated freight corridor map india
Source: The Hindu

Western FC: 

  • The western corridor will cover nearly 1,500 km, connecting the Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai with Dadri (UTTAR PRADESH)
  • Passes through States such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. 
  • A substantial portion of the revised cost will be met by way of debt from multilateral institutions such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the World Bank.

Eastern FC:

  • 1839 km
  • will connect Ludhiana in Punjab with Dankuni in West Bengal. 
  • It will cut across six States:
    • Punjab
    • Haryana
    • UP
    • Bihar
    • Jharkhand
    • West Bengal
  • It will have two components, a double-track section and a single-track segment, both electrified. 
  • The eastern corridor will cater to traffic streams including coal, finished steel, cement and fertilizer.


Need:
  • For high GDP growth, lot of electricity is needed, for which coal needs to be transported from mines to thermal power station -- need for an efficient mechanism for the same
  • Growth in infrastructure (bridges, roads, buildings) needs faster transport of raw materials like cement, steel, machinery.
  • Growing international trade via oceans needs quick transportation of products from factories to ports.
  • End-consumers have been forced to pay for the collective inefficiency. 
Benefits
  • Reduction in transportation costs 
  • Stepped-up commercial activity, benefiting a range of core industries
  • This could in turn have a multiplier effect on the economy.
  • The DFC will have only electric trains -- lesser greenhouse gas emissions
  • The passenger traffic and goods traffic will be separated, leading to faster and efficient transport
Why slow progress so far?
  • slow decision-making process
  • land acquisition
  • massive challenge facing policy-planners in pushing through a project of this size and magnitude that has inter-State implications. 
[Sources: The Hindu, PIB, Indian Express]

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