Apart from a 538-km extension of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) from Sonnagar to Dankuni, Bengal is also set to get a new 1,115-km link between Kharagpur and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.
In addition to this East Coast Corridor (ECC), Kharagpur, Uluberia, Dankuni and Andal in the state will be part of the East West Sub Corridor (EWSC).
Preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for these corridors by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) has been cleared in the budget tabled in Parliament by Union finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, on Monday.
“The ECC passes through the states of West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and traverses the railway zones of South Eastern Railway, East Coast Railway and South Central Railway. There will be 31 stations and the capital cost of construction (as per 2014-15 rates) is Rs 40,344 crore. This is a very crucial freight route that connects several ports and industrial zones. This corridor will also connect to the East West Corridor at New Hijli Jn and the North South one at Vijaywada,” said a senior SER official. The Sonnagar-Dankuni section is an extended link of the EDFC that will be constructed on a public private partnership (PPP) basis. This double line electrified stretch will be constructed in two phases — one from Sonnagar to Gomoh (264-km) and the other between Gomoh and Dankuni (274-km). The estimated cost of the project is nearly Rs 14,500 crore.
“The important fact is that these corridors will clear normal tracks of freight trains. This will allow both passenger trains and those carrying freight (along the DFCs) to travel at higher speeds. Phase-I from Sonnagar to Gomoh will have about 580 bridges and seven flyovers,” the official added.