World Bank provides $1.1bn for Indian freight corridor
The World Bank has agreed to provide $1.1bn loan to the Indian government for developing the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC), which will facilitate faster transportation of raw materials and finished goods between the northern and eastern parts of the country.
The loan is a second tranche of a loan from the World Bank for the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCCIL) project involving construction of the freight-only rail line.
The World Bank had approved the project in April, 2014 and will be supporting EDFC, which will implemented in three phases, having a total route length of 1,133km but with construction overlaps. Completion is scheduled for December 2019.
While EDFC extends over a length of 1,839 km from Ludhiana to Kolkata, the EDFC 2 will be 393 km long from Kanpur-Mughal Sarai section in Uttar Pradesh state, reports Logistics Business Review.
Besides raising the capacity of the freight lines with increased axle-load limits and speed, the project is also aimed at boosting transportation capacity of Indian Railways.
The World Bank had approved the first loan of $975m in May 2011 to fund the 343km Khurja-Kanpur section under the EDFC program.
World Bank country director in India Onno Ruhl said the project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions through greater use of rail freight as opposed to road haulage and "serve as a catalyst for accelerating economic development in the relatively poor state of Uttar Pradesh through which the line passes".