Rail minister urges pvt sector to invest in DFC projects

Written by feBureau | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 5 2013, 05:35am hrs
As the proposed 546-km rail stretch from Sonnagar in Bihar to Dankuni in West Bengal on the eastern freight corridor of the dedicated freight corridors (DFCs) project failed to find investors, rail minister Pawan Bansal on Thursday urged private companies to participate in the development of the DFCs.

The cost of the stretch proposed on the PPP model is said to be around R15,000 crore.

The Railways has held various meetings with the investors but nobody has come forward to put in money as they don't find the project financially viable.

The 1,500-km western corridor, which connects Dadri (Uttar Pradesh) with Mumbai, is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Giving the timeline, Bansal said: The DFC project has to be completed by 2018, which is an uphill task. There is tangible progress as 87% land has been acquired. It will cost about R95,000 crore, including land acquisition costs.

Highlighting the importance of the project, he said, We need the DFCs for the growth of our economy. In order to meet that, we need to encourage private participation."

Currently, the share of railways in goods transportation is 36% whereas in the US and China, the share is 48% and 47% respectively.

Bansal insisted on increasing the share of rail in freight loading. He said movement of goods by rail is six to 10 times more efficient keeping in mind the impact on environment, the time factor and the additional cost involved in road transport.