The Railways will build nearly 4,000-km dedicated freight corridor connecting industrial areas in the eastern and western parts of the country to southern India through major ports in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, a document on the planned corridors says.
The proposed DFCs are part of the next big ticket infrastructure projects of the Railways.
These DFCs are -- 1,115-km East Coast corridor from Kharagpur (West Bengal) to Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh); the East-West corridor which comprises 1,673 km connecting Bhusaval-Nagpur-Kharagpur-Dankuni (near Kolkata) route, and 195-km Rajkharswan-Kalipahari-Andal (West Bengal) route.
The third is the 975-km North South sub-corridor Vijayawada-Nagpur-Itarsi (Madhya Pradesh) route.
The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) will soon begin the survey for these corridors and will complete the exercise in a year.
These corridors will provide connectivity to Paradeep, Dhamra, Gopalpur Ports in Odisha and Vishakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kakinada, Krishnapatnam and Machhalipatanam ports in Andhra Pradesh, ensuring faster movement of goods and capacity enhancement in the over-saturated sections of the railway network.
In a major boost to development of Odisha, the proposed Kharagpur-Vijayawada corridor will pass through the state's Kalinagar Industrial area, connecting it with southern India.
The Kalinagar Industrial area will by then already be connected with the western part of the country through the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.
The DFCCIL is already building the first two freight corridors --Eastern Freight Corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni (1,856km) and Western Freight Corridor from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (1,504km)-at a total cost of Rs 81,000 crore.
These two are set to be completed by 2021.
According to a RITES projection, the East-West (EWDFC) is likely to handle around 449.88 million tonne (MT) freight by 2031-32 and 690.6 MT by 2041-42, while the East-Coast (ECDFC) is estimated to handle 405.11 MT by 2031-32 and 861.02 MT by 2041-42.