Eastern-DFC: With No Concrete PPP Proposal, Railways Opts For EPC Model To Construct Sonnagar-Andal Section Lines


Ending days of uncertainty, the government has finally decided to abandon its search for private players under the public-private partnership (PPP) model and move forward with funding a crucial section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) on its own.

The union cabinet on Wednesday (16 August) approved the Indian Railways’ proposal to construct the 371-km stretch between Sonnagar and New Andal through the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model.

As part of the freight corridor, the overall 538 km stretch between Sonnagar in Bihar and Dankuni in West Bengal was proposed to be executed under the PPP mode since the beginning.

According to Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL), as per the earlier decision, EDFC was mandated to construct 538 km long Sonanagar-Dankuni section under PPP model, for which the DFCCIL had series of meetings with private players.

However, no concrete proposals came forward and finally the Railways decided to lay the tracks on its own.

Instead of Sonnagar-Dankuni, the Railways would go ahead with multi-tracking the 371 km stretch between Sonnagar-New Andal in the first phase at an estimated cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

The Sonnagar-Andal section would be built in the EPC model and it is a crucial line for both freight and passenger movement, said Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Vaishnaw further said there would be integration between the Railways and DFC at 18 points along the routes, which means a freight train can enter the Indian Railways rail line from the DFC section.

The EDFC spans 1,337 km from Sahnewal near Ludhiana in Punjab, crossing through Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and terminating at Sonnagar in Bihar.