New Delhi, Feb 9: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday asked central government ministries and departments and state governments to give top priority to Rs.1 lakh crore dedicated freight corridor project that will substantially reduce infrastructure bottlenecks.
The project will connect a land mass of over 3,300 km in the country and could prove to be a backbone of India’s economic transport facility, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“In a meeting held in the PMO, the chief secretaries and representatives of the states assured the full cooperation of their state governments in taking forward this important project,” the statement said.
It was decided that monitoring committees will be set up by the states to resolve issues relating to the freight corridor project, especially land acquisition, in an expeditious manner.
The representatives of the nodal authority, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Cooperation India Ltd (DFCCIL), will be overseeing progress of work with the targeted project completion date being March 2017.
According to DFCCIL, 67 percent of the land acquisition has been completed through the Railway Amendment Act 2008. As of now, the project is, by and large, on target.
“The PMO will be closely monitoring progress of the project so that necessary action is taken in a time-bound manner,” the statement said.
The western corridor from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust near Mumbai will be 1,499 km long. It will connect Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra, with an exclusive high speed railway track.
The eastern corridor from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal will be 1,839 km long, and will connect Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
A major part of the western corridor will be funded with Japanese assistance and nearly two third of the eastern corridor will be built with World Bank assistance.
The Sonnagar-Dankuni section will be executed on public-private-partnership mode. Indian Railways is also investing a substantial amount in the project.