Minister of Railways Reviews Progress of Dedicated Freight Corridors

The Minister of Railways, Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal reviewed the implementation of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) projects in India being implemented by Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL), the fully owned Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of Ministry of Railways specially constituted for the purpose. Shri R K Gupta Managing Director DFCCIL made a detailed presentation. The Minister of Railways alongwith Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinay Mittal, and the Members of Indian Railway Board took stock of the current status of various activities involved in the project implementation and also discussed various issues having critical impact on the project implementation.

One of the notable features reflected during the review as acquisition of 7968 hectares of land constituting over 82 per cent which marks achievement of a major landmark of 80 per cent land acquisition stipulated by the funding agencies, e.g. World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It was appreciated that approximately 8000 hectares of land over 9 States and 61 Districts has been acquired in a span of less than three years, which is very remarkable. The remaining 18 per cent land acquisition is also progressing steadily.

DFCCIL officials also highlighted the current procurement status for physical execution of works indicating that contract for railway track works over 1000 kms is expected to be awarded in coming months making the physical execution visible at the ground level. Shri Vinay Mittal apprised the Railway Minister regarding the remarkable achievement of project authorities in obtaining environmental clearance of two Wild Life Sanctuaries and one Bird Sanctuary within 10 to 16 months, which has been possible due to active support and cooperation of the State Governments of Gujarat and Maharashtra and their Forest and Environment officials. The Union Ministry of Forest and Environment has also provided necessary assistance by lending the services of an experienced officer to assist DFC project authorities and guide them in processing various forest and environment clearances. The inter-ministerial cooperation has been very effective for the DFC project in this respect. Shri Mittal also pointed out that DFCCIL has successfully complied with stringent requirement of social impact assessment and its mitigation as stipulated by funding agencies like World Bank and JICA.

The initial timelines of commissioning of the entire project by December 2016 for both Eastern and Western Corridors stipulated at the time of approval of the project were also reviewed in the light of the subsequent developments of requirement of environmental clearances, processes involved and the ground realities encountered in the project implementation. It was brought out by the project authorities before the Railway Minister that due to sequential progressive processing of different phases of the project by both World Bank and JICA and course correction in the alignment due to various reasons, the commissioning of DFC would now be achieved in phases varying from December 2015 depending on the availability of funds and funding arrangement being tied up wherever it is yet to be concluded.

The Railway Minister emphasized the importance of DFC project to be implemented and commissioned at the earliest and the DFCCIL project authorities assured that no stone will be left unturned with the support and assistance of the Ministry of Railways to achieve this mega project of national importance.

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Bombardier eying railway signaling system for DFC

BS reported that Bombardier Transportation India Limited, the domestic outfit of Canadian firm Bombardier Inc, is buoyant about its railway signaling system business.

While, currently Bombardier’s signaling office and the software development centre are also located at Vadodara, which develops software for signaling and traction applications and caters to the software requirements of Bombardier Transportation worldwide, the company is readying to provide traffic management systems for Indian Railways.

Mr Rajeev Jyoti MD of Bombardier Transportation India Limited said that “We have virtually all the technology including axel control technology, audio frequency tracks circuit and European Train Control System in railway signaling system. We are currently working with Railways in other verticals and are looking forward to projects in railway signaling as well.”

According to Mr Jyoti, the DFC project, spanning 2762 kilometer will generate need for state of the art technology in railway signaling given the traffic for which Bombardier is readying itself to get engaged in.

He said that “We will use our global product platforms to offer railway signaling system. With turn key projects being planned by Indian Railways, we are looking forward to being part of consortium and partnerships for railway signaling. Since railway signaling system will be project based, we have not set a target to achieving certain capacity in manufacturing. However, as and when the bids are announced we will participate in them.”

While, Audio Frequency Track Circuits have been developed to over come the effect of alternate current induction in AC electrified tracks on conventional direct current track circuits and also to avoid insulation block joints on tracks for bifurcation of track circuit sections, ETCS creates standardized train control system and thus harmonize rolling stock equipment. The system transmits data between track and vehicle via ETCS components to facilitate train and corresponding route information.

(Sourced from Business Standard)