The World Bank has approved an additional loan of $650 million for the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC), which is aimed at the faster delivery of goods between the northern and eastern parts of the India.
This round of loans to the EDFC follows two other loans by the World Bank. The Cabinet last week approved the revised cost estimate of Rs.81,459 crore for the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project.
The third round of World Bank funding, announced on Wednesday, will build the 401 km Ludhiana-Khurja section in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. The project will “help grow the capacity of these freight-only lines by raising the axle-load limit from 22.9 to 25 tonnes and enable speeds of up to 100 km/hr. It will also help develop the institutional capacity of the DFCCIL to build and maintain the DFC infrastructure network,” according to the World Bank.
An analysis of the projected greenhouse gases that are expected to be generated by the Eastern freight corridor project found that it would be 55 per cent lower than the levels of gases released without the project. The Eastern DFC project is expected to release 10.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions up to 2041-42, compared to a whopping 23.3 million tonnes in the absence of the freight corridor.
Approved in May 2011, the first loan of $975m was used for the 343km Khurja-Kanpur section in the EDFC programme and is already under implementation.
In last April, the World Bank has approved the second loan of $1.1bn for the second phase, which covers 402km from Kanpur to Mughal Sarai.
The EDFC is planned to be built on two main line of the western and the eastern corridors, which are expected to help increase railway transportation capacity through high-capacity, higher speed dedicated freight corridors along the Golden Quadrilateral highway network connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.