New Delhi: The government today gave an in-principle approval to dedicated multi-modal high axle load freight corridor in Eastern and Western corridors at an estimated cost of Rs28,181 crore.
“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its in-principle approval to the dedicated multi-modal high axle load freight corridor on Eastern Corridor and Western Corridor at an estimated cost of Rs28,181 crore,” finance minister P Chidambaram told reporters here.
The Eastern Corridor would entail an estimated expenditure of Rs11,859 crore and the Western corridor would cost about Rs16,592 crore, he said.
“The whole corridor will be having computerized train control system. On Eastern side, the corridor will be from Ludhiana to Sonnagar and on the Western side the corridor will connect Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai to Tughlakabad and Dadri near Delhi,” the finance minister said.
The project will immensely benefit ports, exporters, importers, shipping lines and container operators by the the Western corridor and coal companies, steel plants and thermal power stations by the Eastern one, he said.
The Eastern Corridor, as approved by the CCEA on February 21 last year, would begin at Ludhiana and terminate at Sonnagar via Ambala, Saharanpur, Khurja and Allahabad.
The project is expected to be completed in five years, Chidambaram said.
“However, in view of the representation from the West Bengal government and also considering the possibility of increase in freight traffic on account of proposed deep sea port, the Eastern corridor will be extended up to the proposed deep sea port in the Kolkata area,” Chidambaram said.
The finance minister said RITES was conducting a pre-feasibility study of Sonnagar-Kolkata portion of the Eastern corridor and CCEA will be approached for the approval after completion of the study.
“The project will provide the much-needed rail infrastructure for growth of the Indian economy and EXIM trade. The project will also generate indirect employment during construction phase,” he added.