Indian Railway ministry to invite tenders worth $2.57 BN of Dedicated Freight Corridor project


With work on dedicated freight corridor in full swing, Indian Railways ministry has decided to award another rounds of tender worth $2.57 billion of dedicated freight corridor (DFC) projects.

Speaking in Vadodara during the visit to Western Railway zonal office, India minister for state for railways, Manoj Sinha said that the government by the end of March 2016 will finalise tenders worth $2.57 billion western corridor.

The tender contract will be civil work contract of 1100 km route on the Western Freight Corridors route.

Indian Railways ministry is building dedicated freight corridors worth $12 billion in two phase. The western dedicated freight corridor (WDFC) from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port with a route of 1,502km and the eastern dedicated freight corridor (EDFC) from Ludhiana to Dankuni (West Bengal) with a route length of 1,840kms.

This corridor will speed up transportation of goods. Prevailing scenario is not very good and everybody wants faster freight movement. Currently, freight movement is at around 25 to 30 km per hour, which can be 100 km pr hours after the corridors are operational.

For the entire western corridor, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has funded 645 billion yen, while the World Bank will be providing $2.72 billion financial assistance for the eastern corridor from Mughalsarai to Ludhiana.

Of the total $12 billion funding, two-thirds has been in a way of debt and the rest via equity of the rail ministry.

DFC will be completed in phases between 2017 and 2019, Sinha said, while calling private investments citing tremendous opportunities in the project.

The project will provide efficient, reliable and fast transport and is also said to be game-changer in the freight transport sector, as currently, a freight consignment today takes two to three to move between Delhi and Mumbai. After completion of DFC, the time will be reduced to less than 24 hours.

WDFC will involve movement of double-stack containers with electric traction for the first time in the world. The average speed of trains will increase to 70 km per hour against 25 km per hour now. The unit cost of transport is also expected to reduce 40 per cent making DFC more economical than other modes of transport.