DEDICATED FREIGHT CORRIDOR
30/12/2020

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In News
  • Recently, Indian Prime Minister inaugurated a 351-km section between Khurja (12th stop after Sohnewal in the North) and New Bhaupur, near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh for commercial operations of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC).
  • A state-of-the-art Operation Control Centre in Prayagraj was also dedicated to the nation.
About
  • This new section is built at a cost of Rs 5,750 crore through a loan from World Bank (which is funding a majority of the EDFC; the WDFC is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency).
  • This total 2,843-km project is the largest rail infrastructure being built in independent India which has been in the making since 2006.
What is the DFC?
  • The DFC consists of two arms:
  1. This recent section is part of the 1,839-km Eastern DFC (EDFC) that starts at Sohnewal (Ludhiana) and ends at Dankuni in West Bengal.
  2. Around 1,500-km Western DFC (WDFC) from Dadri, Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port [JNPT], Mumbai.
Significance of new section
  • 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.
  • This is like building an entire railway network from scratch, independent of Indian Railways. All the installations are new. Including the stations, and that’s why the names of a majority of its stations are prefixed with ‘New’, such as New Bhaupur, New Khurja etc.
  • Freight trains usually suffer from unpredictable running times and low speeds of around 25 km per hour (kph). But they can run at 50-60 kph on this new section.
  • Tracks on DFC are designed to carry heavier loads than most of Indian Railways. DFC will get track access charge from the parent Indian Railways, and also generate its own freight business.
  • Freight trains plying on this section will now decongest the existing Kanpur-Delhi main line, which currently handles trains at 150% of its line capacity.
  • Now, on the Indian Railway main line, more passenger trains can be pumped in and those trains can, in turn, achieve better punctuality.
  • This new section is free from any permanent or temporary speed restrictions. This in a way sets the bar for rest of the DFC to also make stretches free from speed restrictions, or “cautions”.
  • 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.
  • For Business development plan, this section will also catch the freight traffic originating from key centres like Kanpur Dehat, Aurayia, Etawah, Firozabad, Hathras, Aligarh and Bulandshahr. The existing industrial areas will become major growth centres of the area.
  • The agricultural produce will get a pan-India market because of cheaper and faster DFC connectivity.
  • New Makhanpur (Firozabad) and New Daudkhan (Aligarh) will be opened as common user terminals aimed at local farmers in sending their produce to the larger markets.
 

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