The dedicated freight corridors (DFC) connecting Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni near Kolkata and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) near Mumbai are likely to fully functional by March 2020 according to sources.
The DFC is split into two- Eastern DFC ( Khurja to Dankuni) and the Western DFC (Khurja to JNPT via Dadri, Rewari). The corridors are being executed and will be operated by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited, a special entity formed for the purpose.
The section–wise target for completion is given in the table below:
|DFC Sections||Distance in Km||Targets|
|Khurja – Bhadan||200||Nov-18 Completed|
|Bhadan – Bhaupur||143||Mar-19|
|Sonnagar – Mugalsarai||126||Oct-19|
|Khurja – Dadri||46||Dec-19|
|Pilkhani – Sahnewal||179||Mar-20|
|Khurja – Pilkhani||127||Mar-20|
|Rewari – Madar||306||Dec-18 completed|
|Madar – Marwar||128||Mar-19|
|Marwar – Palanpur||207||Sep-19|
|Palanpur – Makarpura||308||Mar-20|
|Makarpura – JNPT||430||Mar-20|
|Rewari – Dadri||127||Mar-20|
Traffic on Eastern DFC
|EDFC Sections||Distance in Km||Contract Awarded to|
|Ludhiana – Khurja||404||GMR|
|Khurja – Bhaupur||343||Tata|
|Bhaupur – Mughalsarai||393||GMR|
|Mughalsarai – Sonnagar||119||C&C|
|Sonnagar – Dankuni||538||PPP|
|Dadri – Khurja||46||GMR|
This project is expected to carry coal for power plants, steel, food grains, finished steel and cement. A significant portion of the total traffic of 144 million tones (estimated for the fiscal FY22) will be diverted to this corridor.
Moreover, logistics Parks have also been planned at Kanpur and Ludhiana on a public-private partnership model. Requisite infrastructure besides a well-connected road and rail network has also been envisaged.
Traffic on Western DFC
|WDFC Sections||Distance in Km||Contract Awarded to|
|Dadri – Rewari||141||L&T, Sojit|
|Rewari – Iqbalgarh||626||L&T, Sojit|
|Iqbalgarh – Vadodara||304||L&T, Sojit,Gayatri|
|Vadodara – Sachin||163||Mitsui,IRCON,Tata|
|Sachin – JNPT||265||Mitsui,IRCON,Tata|
The Western DFC will cater to the ports of JNPT, Kandla, Mundra and Pipavav and comprises mainly of containerized cargo. Transportation of fertilizers, food grains, iron and steel and cement is also done on this route.
Container traffic is likely to account of 80% of the cargo along this route by FY22, with the cargo handled estimated at 6.2 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units, a unit which measures cargo stuffed inside a container 20 feet long and 8 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall).
On the anvil are logistics on Mumbai’s periphery such as Kalyan-Ulhasnagar and Vashi-Belapur. Other parks along this route are likely to come up at Vapi, Ahmedabad, Gandhidham, Jaipur and the National Capital region in and around Delhi.
These locations have several industries in the manufacturing and service sectors.
Funding profile of EDFC
The Eastern DFC is being funded by a mix of World Bank, equity from railways and public-private partnership (PPP) executed in a phased manner. The 1192 km Ludhiana – Mughalsarai section of is being funded in three tranches
The first tranche of 975 million US dollars is for Khurja-Dadri and Khurja-Kanpur, the second tranche of USD 1100 million for Kanpur-Mughalsarai and the third tranche of USD 650 million is for Khurja –Ludhiana section.
The Mughalsarai-Sonnagar section is being funded by Indian Railways’ equity worth Rs 3,679 crore while the Sonnagar- Dankuni stretch will be done through the PPP route.
WDFC funding profile
The entire Western corridor is being funded through a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in two phases.
A loan of 349 billion JPY for Phase I from Rewari to Vadodara (947 Kms) and a loan of JPY 296 billion for phase II between Vadodara and JNPT is part of the deal. The loan also includes procurement of 200 locomotives of 9000 HP by the railway ministry.
Future of DFCs
Four DFCs have been proposed in January 2018 for which engineering and traffic surveys have been assigned to DFCCI (Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India). They are the East-West Kolkata-Mumbai corridor (2000 km), North-Delhi-Chennai corridor (2173 km), East Coast corridor between Kharagpur and Vijayawada (1100 km) and the South West corridor between Chennai and Goa (890 km).
However, it remains to be seen how fast the DFC is able to regain its lost market share of goods traffic from road transport besides de-congesting the over-saturated truck routes along the golden quadrilateral and its diagonals.