Freight corridor on schedule, to be completed by Dec | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Freight corridor on schedule, to be completed by Dec

Railway Minister Mamataa Banerjee on Friday sounded optimistic about the much-talked dedicated freight corridors (DFC) project. “We want to complete the DFC project by December 2016 as planned,” Banerjee said.

delhi Updated: Feb 26, 2011 00:45 IST
HT Correspondent

Railway Minister Mamataa Banerjee on Friday sounded optimistic about the much-talked dedicated freight corridors (DFC) project. “We want to complete the DFC project by December 2016 as planned,” Banerjee said.

Elaborating the developments on the project, the railway minister said the loan agreement for the first phase of the western corridor of DFC with Japan International Cooperation Agency has been signed, while appraisal by the World Bank for part of the Eastern Corridor would be carried out in March.

“Bidding process for the civil and track work of the Western Corridor has already commenced while work on the Dankuni end of the eastern corridor has also started,” Banerjee said in the Parliament while presenting the rail budget.

The ministry has aligned the corridor parallel to the railway’s existing network to make use of excess land banks and reduce the need to acquire land.

“Land is a sensitive issue and with the objective of reducing the number of land losers, we are using 12,000 acres from the railway’s land bank,” Banerjee added.

“This has reduced the requirement of land acquisition by 2,718 acres resulting in a saving of about Rs300 crore.”

This year, railways had to reduce the target for freight loading by 20 million tonnes to 924 mt largely due to the ban on iron ore exports in Karnataka that entailed a loss of Rs2,000 crore. The freight loading target for 2011-12 has been set at 993 mt, a growth of 7.5% over 2010-11. Like passenger fares, freight rates have also been left untouched. Another Rs1,500 crore was lost due to disruption of train movements across the country. The freight loading target for 2011-12 has been set at 993 mt, a growth of 7.5% over 2010-11.

“Law and order is the responsibility of state government and railways are mostly helpless in handling such situations,” Banerjee said. “Railways being a soft target has been facing the wrath of extremists, agitations and other unsocial elements.”