Plans to build 3,338-km Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) on India's eastern and western flanks may soon see the light of day, with railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announcing that civil contracts to build 1,500 km of tracks will be awarded this fiscal.
Before the UPA-II completes its term, the first stretch of DFC lines - the 66km line from Sonnagar to Mughalsarai - will become operational.
Once the project is completed, India can actually take the credit of having re-written the history of logistics. The DFC - once built - will be the only multi-commodity and multi-destination freight network in the world.
A freight train running on DFC tracks will carry four times more cargo.
The DFC is also seen as a game-changer for its 'force-multiplier' effect. The DFC tracks will enable de-clogging of the choked arteries of the mainline tracks.
Bansal to address Pawar's concerns
A day after key UPA ally Sharad Pawar expressed "grave disappointment" with the "total neglect" of Maharashtra in the rail budget proposals, Bansal said he would shortly meet him to address his concerns.
Bansal also made an open offer to meet leaders of Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress besides leaders of the SP, BSP and the JD(U) - all of whom are upset about the perceived neglect of their states in the rail budget proposals.