Tracks cleared to fast track railway freight corridors


New Delhi : The Cabinet Thursday approved a railway ministry proposal to issue an ordinance to amend the Railways Act of 1989. This will help it acquire land for its dedicated freight corridors.

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“The ordinance will help the railway ministry carry out land acquisition for special railway projects,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, without providing further details.

The ordinance is aimed at arming the railways with additional powers to quickly acquire land.

This would help it hasten the pace of work on its dedicated freight corridor project.

Under this project, two dedicated freight corridors will be constructed between Delhi and Mumbai and between Delhi and Kolkata.

The railway ministry has constituted a subsidiary company – Dedicated Freight Corridor of India Ltd (DFCIL) – to develop and manage the project.

The dedicated freight corridors are being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The DFCIL was incorporated in October 2006 with an authorised capital of Rs.40 billion ($1 billion) and a paid-up capital of Rs.500 million ($12.8 billion).

The project is scheduled to be completed in five years, and is expected to provide critical rail infrastructure that will benefit ports, importers and exporters, and shipping lines and container operators along the western corridor and coal companies, steel plants and thermal power stations on the west-east corridor.

The two corridors are to be built in two phases.

“Railway minister Lalu Prasad, who proposed the ordinance, also assured the Cabinet that his ministry will strictly abide by the new compensation policy while acquiring land for the special railway projects,” Dasmunsi said.