The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Tuesday gave in-principle approval to the dedicated multi-modal high axle load freight corridor (DFC) project on the eastern and western corridors involving an estimated cost of Rs 28,181 crore.
"The whole corridor would have a computerised train control system. On the eastern side, the corridor would be from Ludhiana and Sonnagar and the western corridor would connect Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai to Tughlakabad and Dadri near Delhi," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said after the CCEA meeting.
The eastern 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 project is expected to be commissioned within 5 years. "The project will immensely benefit ports, exporters, importers, shipping lines and container operators by the western corridor and coal companies, steel plants and thermal power stations by the eastern corridor. The project would provide must-needed rail infrastructure for growth of the Indian economy and trade. It will also generate indirect employment during the construction phase," an official statement said.
The eastern corridor was originally planned to terminate at Sonnagar. However, in view of the representation from the West Bengal government and also considering the possibility of an increase in freight traffic on account of proposed deep-sea port, the eastern corridor will extend up to the proposed port in Kolkata area, the statement said.
RITES is conducting a pre-Feasibility study of Sonnagar-Kolkata portion of the Eastern Corridor and the CCEA will take up the proposal for approval of extension project after completion of the study.