Union Government inks loan pact with World Bank for Eastern Freight Corridor
The Union Government has signed $650 million loan agreement with the World Bank for construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)-III project.
The agreement was signed between International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IRBD), part of World Bank Group to lend $650 million, third tranche for construction EDFC to Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL).
Features of EDFC-III project
- The project aims to enhance rail transport capacity, improve service quality and boost freight carriage on the 401-km- long Ludhiana-Khurja section of the EDFC.
- On completion it will directly benefit the power and heavy manufacturing industries located in the Northern and Eastern parts of India.
- This project will provide these industries smooth railway network for efficient transportation of their raw materials along with distribution processed and consumer goods.
- In addition, railway passengers will also be benefitted as the existing passengers lines would get decongested.
The first two phases of the EDFC are already being implemented by the DFCCIL with the help of financial assistance provided by the World Bank. The IRDB had provided loans worth $975 million and $1,100 million for the Dadri-Khurja-Kanpur and and Kanpur-Mughal Sarai stretches respectively of the Eastern Rail Corridor.
What is Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)?
- EDFC is 1,840 km long freight corridor of Indian Railways extending from Ludhiana in Punjab to Kolkata in West Bengal.
- The objective of the EDFC is to augment railway freight carrying capacity along the railway corridor between Ludhiana and Kolkata.
- The project will benefit industries of northern and eastern India, which rely on railway network for transportation of material inputs and processed goods.
- It is also going to help to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions, as trains complying on this dedicated freight corridor will operate entirely on electricity.