The capex utilisation in the Indian Railways’ dedicated freight corridor (DFC) project increased by 21 per cent as compared to the year-ago period. According to a recent statement by the Railway Ministry, in the first 10 months of the financial year 2020-21, capital expenditure of ₹ 8201 crore was registered as compared to ₹ 6783 crore for year-ago period, even though the pace of the rail infrastructure project got severely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and induced lockdown. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal directed the authorities to increase the pace of work across all sections of the 1,504 km long Western DFC and the 1,856 km long Eastern DFC projects.
According to the railway authorities, 657 km of the DFC section has already been opened and more than 1000 trains have operated so far. In the first phase, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) is constructing the 1,504 km long Western DFC project and 1,856 km long Eastern DFC project including a public-private partnership (PPP) section between Sonnagar-Dankuni.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 351 km long section of the eastern dedicated freight corridor and the operating control centre, situated at Prayagraj, through video conference on December 29, 2020. Indian Railways’ indigenous Alstom’s WAG 12 e-locomotive was flagged off for the inaugural run on the Bhaupur – Khurja section. Along with this, the 306 km long Rewari-Madar section of the western dedicated freight corridor was inaugurated on January 7.