New freight corridor a big boost: PM

Plans on track:PM Narendra Modi flagging off the double stack container train through video link from New Delhi.PTI-  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday inaugurated the New Rewari-New Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and flagged off the world’s first 1.5-km-long electrified double stack long haul container train.

Mr. Modi said the project was part of the mission to modernise the country’s infrastructure and was being seen as a game changer for the India of 21st century. The section, which became operational after a hard work of five to six years, would be beneficial to farmers, industrialists and businessmen in the National Capital Region, Haryana and Rajasthan.

More jobs, investment

The corridor would lead to the development of growth centres and points in several cities, creation of job opportunities and conditions attracting more investments. It would give a new fillip to the local industries and manufacturing units by providing them faster and cheaper access to the national and international markets. They would get easy access to the ports in Gujarat and Maharashtra, he noted.

A portion of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, the New Bhaupur-New Khurja section, was started last month and through it, farm produce were being transported from Punjab and coal from Jharkhand was being supplied to the National Capital Region, Haryana and Punjab. Compared to the previous freight train average speed of 25 km/hour, the maximum of 90 km/hour had now been achieved, Mr. Modi pointed out.

In all, 133 railway stations in nine States would be impacted by the Dedicated Freight Corridor. New multi-model logistic parks, freight terminals, container depots/terminals and parcel hubs would be developed at these places. It would not only benefit villages, farmers, the poor and the small businesses, but also attract big manufacturers, he said.

With the launch of the double stack long haul container train between New Ateli in Haryana and New Kishanganj in Rajasthan, India had also entered the club of nations with such high capabilities, he stated.

Northeast link

Given the rapid infrastructural expansion, all the Northeast State capitals would soon be linked to the national rail network. The work of indigenously developing high-speed tracks was also under way.

Earlier, Mr. Modi listed several initiatives, including a digital payment of Rs. 18,000 crore to farmers under the direct benefit transfer scheme, taken by the government in the past couple of weeks, to highlight the speed with which important projects were being implemented despite the COVID-19 induced crisis.