Railways shortlists 10 firms to develop eastern corridor

Written by Rajat Arora | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 24 2012, 09:02am hrs
Around 10 major infrastructure companies, including Punj Llyod, Lanco Infratech, Essar, TATA Aldesa, Gammon and SOMA, have been shortlisted by Indian Railways to undertake the construction of eastern corridor of the country's most ambitious rail infrastructure project-Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).

The project includes construction of 3,300 route km of on the countrys eastern and western flanks at an estimated cost of approximately R90,000 crore.

The work on phase one of the 1,839-km eastern corridor route connecting Ludhiana and Dhankuni (West Bengal) is expected to start by April. The eastern corridor is being funded by the World Bank, whereas, the western corridor is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Ten companies have qualified our bid and by the end of January the work would be awarded to the companies selected. Proposals were received from 14 companies during the prebid, said a senior railway board officer.

In phase I, 343 km of eastern corridor will be awarded and the cost of the project is expected to be over R5,000 crore, the officer added. According to railways, the total construction cost of the eastern corridor is expected to be around R40,000 crore and the deadline is 2012-13.

The details of the companies would be sent to World Bank, the funding agency, and after their clearance we'll announce the names of companies selected to undertake the work, the officer added.

The World Bank is financing the Eastern Corridor project from Mughal Sarai to Ludhiana, the rest of the stretch from Mughal Sarai to Dankuni is being financed in two modes-from Mughal Sarai to Sonnagar , the 150 km stretch is being financed through railway equity and the 540-km Sonnagar-Dankuni section is to be implemented on PPP basis. The total in principle loan commitment by the World Bank is $ 2.725 billion, which it is releasing in tranches.