Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has recently signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide 103,664 million Japanese Yen (approx. 6,170 crores) Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan for the Dedicated Freight Corridor Project Phase 1 (III): Tranche 3. The ODA loan's conditions are very concessional, i.e. 0.1% of interest rate and 40 years of repayment period (including 10 years of grace period).
The main feature of the project is the construction of new double track electrified railway lines for the sole use of high speed freight cargo trains as the backbone of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) development plan.
The agreement was signed by Takema SAKAMOTO, Chief Representative, JICA India Office with Mr. S Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, DEA, Ministry of Finance, Government of India in New Delhi.
The executing agencies for the project are the Ministry of Railways (MOR) and Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL). DFFCIL will be responsible exclusively for planning, development and management of the whole DFC railway line, with full administrative, budgetary and technical support by MOR. MOR will be responsible for the procurement of rolling stocks (locomotives), construction of locomotive depot, train operation and maintenance of the rolling stocks.
The western Dedicated Freight Corridor being developed by the project runs between Delhi and Mumbai and covers the areas where significant commercial and industrial development is seen, namely Maharashtra and Gujarat, which have several deep sea ports. The project also covers the Delhi Metropolitan area which is one of the largest consumption areas in North India.
In this project phase1, a new 950km freight line (Rewari to Vadodara) connecting the major cities in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Haryana states will be constructed, and high-quality freight locomotives with large-capacity and high-speed will be introduced. This project will become the backbone of DMIC initiative, being developed as the country's one of the largest integrated industrial areas between Delhi and Mumbai, aimed at promoting direct investment by Indian and foreign companies including Japanese companies.
The task of rapid expansion of railway transport capacity in India has become the most important and urgent issue, because the existing railway transport system is fragile to meet the increased demand for passenger and freight traffic resulting from recent rapid economic growth of India.