In a major leap towards the execution of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), railways have signed a loan agreement of about Rs 20,000 crore with Japan for its western corridor.

The project appraisal for the two routes comprising Vadodara to Jawharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) and Rewari to Dadri in the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor was signed between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Railways, said a senior official of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC).

The Western DFC of 1,499 km will be from JNPT in Mumbai to Tughlakbad and Dadri near Delhi and cater to the container transport requirement between the existing and emerging ports in western India and northern hinterland.

The proposed funding is under Special Terms of Economic Participation (STEP) between Japan and India. The value of the proposed loan is JPY 295 billion (about Rs 20,000 crore), which is a soft loan with the repayment period of 40 years.

With this loan, funding of the entire Western Dedicated Freight Corridor from Delhi to Mumbai is being taken care of and now the focus will be for speedy execution of the project, said the official.

As far as land acquisition for the Western DFC is concerned, out of total 3,608 hectares required in phase-I, 3,186 hectares has been acquired. For the phase II, out of total 2,252 hectares required, 1,041 hectares have been acquired.

Remaining land is expected to be acquired during the current financial year, said the official.

Country head of JICA Shinya Ejima,, Advisor (Infrastructure) Railway Board Girish Pillai and Managing Director DFCC RK Gupta were present at the signing of the loan agreement with Japan last week.

(This article was published on November 15, 2012)
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