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Western Dedicated Freight Corridor

Topics Covered:Infrastructure- railways.

Western Dedicated Freight Corridor

What to study?

For Prelims: Maps of proposed DFCs, DFCCIL.

For Mains: DFCs- significance, need and challenges in construction.

Context: The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd. (DFCCIL) has opened the more than 300-km section between Rewari, Haryana to Madar, Rajasthan, for commercial trial runs. This is the first section to be opened on the under-construction 1,500-km western freight corridor.

For Prelims:

About Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC):

  • It is a broad gauge corridor.
  • The 1,504-km western freight corridor begins at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh and stretches till the country’s largest container port — Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, near Mumbai.
  • In October 2006, a dedicated body, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) has been established to carry out the project.
  • The project will be funded by a soft loan of $4bn provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency under special terms for economic partnership (STEP).

Important places in this route:

  1. It passes through Vadodara,Ahmedabad, Palanpur, Phulera and Rewari.
  2. Passing through P., Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Significance:

  • The western DFC will separate freight and passenger traffic to increase the speed of freight movement.
  • It will be used to transport fertilisers, food grains, salt, coal, iron & steel and cement.
  • The project will eventually be linked to the Eastern DFC to form four hubs known as India’s Golden Quadrilateral including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

Why do we need DFCs?

Increased burden: Covering a total of 10,122 km, these corridors carry the heaviest traffic and are highly congested. The route carries 52% of passenger traffic and 58% of freight traffic, according to the Make-in-India report of 2017. Also, these routes are highly saturated, with line capacity utilisation reaching as high as 150%.

Rise in demand: Considering increased transport demands, overtly congested routes and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with road transport, these freight corridors will help reduce the cost and allow faster transportation.

Revenue generation: They will open new avenues for investment, as this will lead to the construction of industrial corridors and logistic parks along these routes.

About Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL):

The DFCCIL is a corporation run by the Ministry of Railways (India) to undertake planning & development, mobilisation of financial resources and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors. DFCC has been registered as a company under the Companies Act 1956 on 30 October 2006.

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Sources: the Hindu.