Press Information Bureau
Government Of India
Special Service and Features
(16-August, 2012 17:10 IST )

Building Corridors - Fuelling Growth - DFC Carrying India to New Height










Anil Kumar Saxena*






India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world and now ranks as the fourth largest economy. In 1991 India opened its economy and integrated with global powers. One of the Key drivers of the economy is the rail transportation network and Indian Railways is one of the biggest rail networks in the World under single management. The rapid economic growth averaging at 8.45% per annum for last 10 years has put huge demand on existing rail infrastructure. The core sector of Indian economy like Power, Coal mining, steel, cement production, fertilizer, petroleum have great dependence on railways and in consonance railways sets a target of 1850 million tons of freight in its 2020 vision document.


            To supplement the rapid development railways have identified its high density freight routes of golden quadrilateral for line capacity enhancement. The golden quadrilateral which is just 16% of rail network carries 58% of total freight traffic. A momentous decision was taken by the Government in 2005 to segregate freight and passenger business and to construct Dedicated Freight Corridors for movement of freight trains. In the Year 2006, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) was established and registered as a special purpose vehicle under the Companies’ Act 1957.


The DFC project is a marvel of Planning, engineering, design and technology. In the first phase of this mega project, DFCCIL has taken up two corridors at an estimated cost of Rs 88,000 cr. The Eastern Corridor with a route length of 1839 km  from Ludhiana (Punjab) to Dankuni (West Bengal) and The Western Corridor with a distance of 1534 km from JNPT (Mumbai) to Dadri. The Eastern corridor will ease the movement of coal to power plants, steel, petroleum, fertilizer and food grains while the Western corridor will  cater to achievement of India’s strategy of transformation to global export hub. The Western Corridor will also help in domestic movement of industrial production from western India to northern part of the country through containers. The preliminary Engineering and Traffic survey for four more corridors in the next phase has also began and is likely to be completed within two years.


            The prime objectives for building these dedicated freight corridors are to create additional rail infrastructure to cater to increased transport demand as well as to reduce unit cost of transportation. DFC will provide seamless end to end solution to the customers and segregate freight infrastructure for focused approach on both passenger and freight business of Railways. To accrue the benefits of DFC, the Government has started Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Corporation of India which will industrialised the area along DFC and bring in $100 billion investment to the region.


Keeping in view future perspective of development of next gen infrastructure, the DFCC is one of the largest ever infrastructure project being undertaken by railways since Independence. Freight corridor envisages long haul operation with trailing loads to increase from 5000 to 15000 tonnes and container capacity will go up to 400 per train. The new DFC will be high speed freight corridor increasing the speed from 75 at present to 100 kmph.  For the first time in the history of Railways history the Mobile radio communication & GSM based tracking of trains will be used. All these features make it one of the safest rail systems in our country.


            The Dedicated freight corridors are capable to hold the burden of double stack containers which is its USP and DFC is the pioneer in operation of double stack containers on electrified routes. The operation cost is expected to be half as compared to present railway system.


            Availability of land holds the key for faster construction of Dedicated Freight Corridors. DFC will use about 6000 hectares of available railway land and acquire 10750 hectares of land. Further the main cities and towns have been bypassed to avoid any inconvenience to the population due to land acquisition and other issues. DFCC has already acquired about 7500 hectares of land and it hopes to complete acquisition by Dec 2012. Apart from compensation, the rehabilitation package offered by DFC is unique in a way that it provides for the cost of resettlement and re-building of assets of effected people. The Eastern and the Western Freight Corridors passes through nine states, 60 districts and 2500 villages.


            The DFC had undertaken detail study on green house emission to develop a long term low carbon road map which will enable DFC to generate more carbon foot print and also adopt more energy efficient and carbon friendly technologies, process and practices. The DFC project has followed green guidelines to the maximum possible extent and has used technologies which save energy and recourses as much as possible.


            The flow of uninterrupted finance is the key for this kind of mega projects. The DFCC has made foolproof arrangement for timely and un interrupted flow of finance as the eastern corridor is financed by World bank and the entire funding for WDFC is provided by Japan (JICA).The World Bank has agreed to provide a long term loan of $ 950 million for 1190 km long Ludhiana-Mughalsarai section and the loan agreement has been signed in October 2011.The JICA IS providing a loan of 679 billion Yen for construction of entire Western Dedicated Freight Corridor.


            The DFCC project is likely to be a key driver of Indian Economy and a game changer project. The DFC project will reduce the transit time to 1/3rd and will bring new State of Art terminals, with improved customer service. The target for completion of both Eastern and Western Corridor is 2017-18.


(PIB Features.)



*ADG (M&C), PIB, New Delhi.




(Release ID :86222)

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