While tabling the Railway Budget on Friday, Mamata Banerjee said the government has approved the extension of the 1,279-km eastern corridor via Dankuni in West Bengal.
The eastern entire corridor would involve an estimated expenditure of
Rs 11,859 crore while the western corridor would entail a cost about Rs 16,592 crore.
The proposed 2,700-km corridors with an additional 5,000 km of feeder lines could cost approximately Rs 28,000 crore. Once commissioned, they would reduce transit time between Delhi and Mumbai from 60 hours to 36.
On the eastern side, the multi-modal high axle corridor will connect Ludhiana in Punjab to Sonnagar via Dankuni to Howrah in West Bengal and the western corridor will connect Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai to Tughlakabad and Dadri near Delhi. These would exclusively used for running freight trains at 100 kmph.
Total traffic in on the eastern corridor is projected to go up from 52 million tonnes in 2005-06 to 143 million tonnes in 2021-22.
Manish Sharma, director KPMG, said, "The extension of the freight corridor to Dankuni is a welcome step as it will provide much needed high capacity connectivity of freight which gets generated in and around Kolkata. But its extension to Haldia would have been even more desirable.”