Rail Tariff Authority to set freight corridor usage fees

Written by Rajat Arora | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 8 2014, 08:29am hrs
The proposed Rail Tariff Authority (RTA), whose mandate is to rationalise passenger and freight tariffs, will also decide track access charges that the railways and other freight rail operators will pay to the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC) for using the eastern and western freight corridors.

The corridors are expected to be operational by 2017. The DFCC will also be responsible for the maintenance of 3,300 km of tracks once the corridors become operational.DFCC would encourage, promote and support development of new rail freight terminals and freight logistics centres along the new railway, which would enable marketing for additional traffic. DFCC would also facilitate development of connectivity to new industries along the corridor. Track access charges will be decided by the TRA as and when it is set up, DFCC spokesperson Rajesh Khare said.

As per the railways agreement with DFCC, the freight corridor corporation will construct, maintain and operate the corridors. The DFC infrastructure will be available to all authorised rail operators on a non-discriminatory basis.

DFCC will disseminate and promote the advantages of the new railway corridors, identify opportunities to utilise unused capacity and encourage and support the efforts of authorised rail users to attract additional traffic to the new railway system.

DFCC is constructing state-of-the-art 3,300-km eastern and western freight corridors for exclusive movement of goods trains. The 1,839-km eastern dedicated freight corridor, passing through Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, is being financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The 1,499-km western dedicated freight corridor, from Dadri (UP) to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (Mumbai) and passing through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and UP, is partly being funded by the World Bank.

The eastern and western freight corridors, being constructed at the cost of R80,000 crore, will contribute significantly to the economic development of the states covering them as well as ease traffic congestion on the existing railways network.

The core sector, comprising power houses, fertiliser, foodgrain and POL movement, including exports and imports, will benefit from the infrastructure and it will also be a business opportunity for private container train operators, Khare added.