Light at the end of the tunnel
At long last there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel for the R80,000-crore mega project of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) of Indian Railways.
Award of the first major contract of R3,300 crore, to design and build the 343-km double-track Kanpur-Khurja section of the eastern leg of the DFC, to a joint venture of Tata Projects India and Spanish partner Aldesa heralds the beginning of a series of such contracts to bring the Railways’ dream piece of infrastructure to life.
An electrified high-capacity freight route, suitable for speeds of 100 km/h and 32·5 tonne axle-loads, promises to ease congestion on the Delhi-Kolkata axis, while helping to reach coal from the far away coalfields of Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand to a string of thermal power plants in UP, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
It is a culmination of a long-drawn, three-stage process that began with 11 bids being received in which the bidders were to suggest suitable technologies. These were then evaluated against performance requirements during the second stage, before financial bids were invited at the third stage.
The World Bank is funding development of the 1,839 km from Ludhiana to Dankuni of the Eastern DFC. The target for completion of the last leg, from Sonnagar to Dankuni, has recently been deferred by a couple of years in view of land acquisition problems being anticipated in West Bengal.
Contract for the first phase of the
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