Investment target of DFC revised to 80,000 crore: Chairman, Railway Board

The high and upgraded technology for monitoring and diagnostic system is the need of the hour and IR is committed of implementing it

July 28, 2014 10:26 IST | India Infoline News Service
The initial investment needed for the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) was estimated around Rs. 27,000 crore but it has touched close to Rs 80,000 crore in the span of 6 years for the various genuine reasons, said Arunendra Kumar, Chairman, Railway Board at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.
“From the day of commencement of the project Dedicated Freight Corridor till date the expenditure had gone up with various genuine reasons.  Initially the organisation set up Rs 12,000 crore for the Land Acquisition but later on it multiplied several times. Apart from numerous challenges, the project of Dedicated Freight Corridor is reasonably on time also tuned with our expectations”, said Arunendra Kumar said while addressing the ASSOCHAM conference on Dedicated Freight Corridors- Challenges and opportunities in New Delhi.
“Indian Railways (IR) and DFC are focussing the common man as per the directions of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. DFC is one the goals to achieve the common man objective that you reduce the transportation cost and reduce it substantially, not in tids and bits.....”, said Kumar.
He said, “the bottom line is that DFC which we started, if it does well; we will get more corridors and get more money and it will bring down the cost and enhance the technological levels (i.e. how to lay a line more efficiently, how to run a train more effectively and how to run it safely......), said Arunendra Kumar.
“Indian railways have done extra on tracks and there has to be more track for them to run”. We have been compared with China and other countries but please remember, “India is also on the same road.....We have bullock cart, BMW and truck goes together likewise on the railway network passenger train, suburban train and goods train are to be delivered on time and with safety.., Chairman Railway Board.
Alok Johri, Member- Mechanical, Railway Board said that the Dedicated Freight Corridor will bring a major change not only in the transportation section but will also bring revolution in Indian railways. Pointing at the challenges and the Technological upgradation needed, Johri said “Railways tracks and Locomotives is the major challenge for DFC. He said, inputs from manufactures as about 30,000 wagons of new designs are required immediately. The wagons needed would be 25 - 32.5 tonnes capacity of lighter weight and of different dimensions. The advantage is it will be better for Pay load ratio”
Johri also stressed that there is lot of opportunities of technological upgradation in the Dedicated Freight Corridor.  The high and upgraded technology for monitoring and diagnostic system is the need of the hour and IR is committed of implementing it.
He also pointed, the targeted year of completion of DFC is 2017-18 and in the process bulk of contracts has been awarded for Eastern Corridors.
Another challenge for DFC, Johri mentioned that the land acquisition as after the new Land Acquisition Act, hefty premium has to be paid for acquisition of land but the government & Indian railways also assured that they will overcome of it.
ASSOCHAM President Rana Kapoor said, “Indian Railways, the lifeline of our Nation, carries over one billion tonnes of freight every year. To actualize the ambitious target of becoming the largest freight carrier in the world, India needs to urgently act on developing last mile connectivity to ports, mines and power plants by fast tracking Dedicated Freight Corridors which will provide strong impetus to the economy, in addition to fostering growth of freight-intensive industries. It is therefore critical for the Government to ensure time bound execution of the project which has the capacity to boost manufacturing output to 25% of GDP by 2025 and result in significant job creation.”
D K Agarwal, Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Rail Council said, Railways should be treated as service of national importance legally e.g it was done in case of DMRC. In fact, Railways are paying directly or indirectly Rs. 13,000 crores annually. This should be exempted and the fund should be used for infrastructure capacity and capability building.
He further said, In public so much debate is there that railways is a split personality – social as well commercial but world over more or less the same philosophy is followed baring few nations.

“We have to keep in our mind that before independence total route killometers was over 53,000 and today it is only around 65,000. The pace has to enhanced in a such way that era of past is wiped off”, added ASSOCHAM Chairman.

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