The Sonnagar to Dankuni stretch of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor could soon see some action. The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) has sent a revised proposal to the Railway Ministry for the stretch to lower the cash burden on the concessionaire and is hopeful of a decision shortly.

RK Jain, MD, DFCCIL, said the company has sent a revised proposal to the Ministry recommending the hybrid annuity model (HAM), on the lines of viability gap funding (VGF).

Rising cost

The 538-km long stretch from Sonnagar to Dankuni is to be executed under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. However, during discussions with stakeholders, it was realised that the project cost was turning to be very high, Jain told businessline.

In phase 1, from Sonnagar to Gomoh for 275 km, the cost was about ₹10,000 crore, he noted. “We have slightly changed the model to HAM, something like VGF and we will pay 40 per cent of the cost now, reducing the cash burden on the concessionaire,” he said, adding that the revised model has gone to the Ministry for approval, which will take it to the Cabinet.

“It is difficult to give a timeline but we are hopeful of some decision in a couple of months. In the meantime, we are going ahead with land acquisition and removal of level crossings,” Jain further said. The DFCCIL has acquired about 98 to 99 per cent of the land between Sonnagar to Gomoh and about 92 per cent of the land between Gomoh to Dankuni.

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