Railways today said the capacity augmentation on Delhi-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai routes will be a “game changer” and aimed at meeting the increased freight traffic expected by 2020.
Railways has got cabinet approval for nine rail expansion projects involving laying a total of 1937 km long additional line in 11 states to ensure smooth freight and passenger movement.
“Currently, we have capacity of handling 1200 million tonnes (MT) freight loading. But by 2020, the transportation requirement will be 1500 MT,” Chairman Railway Board (CRB) AK Mital said here.
So unless we augment the capacity, it will not be possible, Mital added.
Asked whether the capacity augmentation on main trunk routes will affect the prospects of the upcoming East and West Dedicated Freight Corridors Mital said “It will not.”
Mital further said requirement of railways for increased capacity is sooner than later while the completion of DFC will take some time besides DFC path is different from the decision taken on the proposed routes.
Eastern DFC will cater to the freight traffic from Dankuni to Ludhiana while Western DFC meant to transport goods between Dadri and Mumbai.
He further said “There is no land acquisition involved in doubling or tripling projects as it is already available with railways. But DFC needs to acquire land for laying the line and land acquisition is a problem.
Besides, two proposed DFC will take another 8/10 years and we cannot wait that long. So we decided to go ahead with the capacity augmentation programme.”
Describing today’s capacity expansion decision as “game changer in days to come”, Mital said it would cost Rs 21,000 crore while the completion cost will be Rs 24,000 crore.