Context: Recently, the Prime Minister of India inaugurated the New Rewari-New Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and flagged off the world’s first 1.5-km-long electrified double stack long haul container train.
More on the news:
- The section would be beneficial to farmers, industrialists and businessmen in the National Capital Region, Haryana and Rajasthan.
- Earlier, a portion of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, the New Bhaupur-New Khurja section was started last month.
About the Rewari - Madar section:
- Details: The 306 Km section falls in Haryana and Rajasthan States.
- Modernisation of infrastructure: The project is seen as a game changer for the India of 21 century. This would further improve the national economy, by ensuring growth in the allied sectors and creating employment opportunities.
- Would lead to the development: Of growth centres and points in several cities, creation of job opportunities and conditions attracting more investments.
- A new fillip to the local industries: By providing them faster and cheaper access to the national and international markets, as they would get easy access to the ports in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Dedicated freight corridor (DFC) project:
- The DFC project was first proposed in April 2005 to address the needs of the rapidly developing Indian economy.
- The existing quadrilateral railway network, also known as the golden quadrilateral, which links the major metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, is unable to support the growing demand due to capacity constraints.
- A dedicated freight corridor was required to address these concerns.
- The Ministry of Railways, under the direction of the Indian Government, had taken up the dedicated freight corridor (DFC) project.
- The project involves the construction of six freight corridors traversing the entire country.
- The Indian Railways (Amendment) Act gives the project power to acquire land as it is of national importance.
- The purpose of the project:
- The DFC project is expected to reduce congestion at various terminals and junctions.
- It will allow for efficient, safe and fast movement of freight along the corridor.
- Initially, the construction of two freight corridors, the Western DFC connecting the states of Haryana and Maharashtra and the Eastern DFC connecting the states Punjab and West Bengal, is being undertaken.
- The combined length of the Western and Eastern DFCs is approximately 2,843 km.
- The other four corridors include North-South (Delhi-Tamil Nadu), East-West (West Bengal-Maharashtra), East-South (West Bengal-Andhra Pradesh) and South-South (Tamil Nadu-Goa).
- These four corridors are still in the planning stage.
- In 2006, the Government of India established a dedicated body to implement the project, called the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL).
- The DFCCIL began building the eastern and western corridors simultaneously, in three phases.
- Its importance:
- Decongestion: Around 70% of the freight trains currently running on the Indian Railway network are slated to shift to the freight corridors, leaving the paths open for more passenger trains.
- International funding: Built at a cost of Rs 5,750 crore through a loan from the World Bank, which is funding a majority of the EDFC. The WDFC is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
- State-of-the-art infrastructure: This is like building an entire railway network from scratch, independent of Indian Railways. Tracks on DFC are designed to carry heavier loads than most of Indian Railways.
- Will generate its own business: DFC will get track access charge from the parent Indian Railways, and also generate its own freight business.
- Transportation of essentials:
- Foodgrain and fertilisers from the northern region are transported to the eastern and Northeast regions.
- From East and Northeast, coal, iron ore, jute and petroleum products are transported North and West.
- The agricultural produce will get a pan-India market because of cheaper and faster DFC connectivity.