Indian Railways Dedicated Freight Corridor Project: Despite the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project will not be delayed, a PTI report quoted Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav as saying. The DFC project, worth Rs 81,000 crore, which is Indian Railways’ single-largest developmental project that is currently underway, consists of the 1,839-km long Eastern DFC from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni near Kolkata, and the 1483-km long Western DFC, connecting the national capital, Delhi and its economic hub Mumbai. As per the latest data provided by DFCCIL, the corporation has completed 56 per cent of its contractual work on the Western DFC and 60 per cent work on the Eastern DFC. Also, 99 per cent of the required land has been acquired, DFCCIL said.
The Dedicated Freight Corridor Project which is scheduled for completion by December 2021, is set to decongest the Indian Railways network by moving about 70 per cent of freight trains to these corridors. Yadav was quoted in the report saying that it was a very good decision by the DFCCIL to keep the labourers in camps around the work site as well as providing them with basic amenities, ensuring that not many of the workers returned home. Because of this, the development work has not stopped, only slowed down a bit. The Railway Board Chairman believes that since there is still time till December 2021, the deadline, the project will not be delayed.
DFCCIL had around 40,000 workers at their worksites in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. But this was primarily reduced to around 15,000 workers during the nationwide lockdown leading to a slowdown in construction work. The Managing Director of DFCCIL wrote to the states, requesting them to make sure that the labourers are permitted to move from the camps to the worksites, as well as arranging e-passes for them. Also, locals were hired by the agency to supplement the workers available with them.