One of the biggest hurdles bogging the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor was taken care of on March 2. The rail authorities have installed an 80-meters long bridge, that looks similar to Howrah Bridge, close to Bhiwandi over the Ulhas River. The next in line is Kalamboli where another such 110-meter long bridge shall be constructed, thus readying this freight corridor connecting 1,506 km long JNPT with Dadri. The dedicated freight corridor is vital for the transportation of essential commodities, goods, pulses, and other items and products which will ease its availability for people.
All these are steps being taken towards augmenting the smooth flow of essential commodities, agricultural produce and freight at large to and from Mumbai. This comes at a time when the Western and Central Railways loaded and carried 13.76 Million Tonne of freight in February 2022.
On Wednesday, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) completed construction and installation of this 'open web girder' running parallel to existing tracks for Western DFC that starts from JNPT to Dadri. They have constructed 6 spans and it needs 12 girders for the double line corridor.
This 80-meters long bridge across Ulhas River between Kopar and Bhiwandi stations of Central Railway. “There is another 110-meters long bridge that will come in Kalamboli. These are among the longest steel girders erected till date on the Western DFC line,” explained a senior official.
Despite the toughest challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the railway authorities here on both CR and WR; ferried 148.18 Million Tonnes from April 2021 to February 2022. This includes 7.25 MT freight loading in the month of February 2022 on Western Railway while 6.51 MT freight on Central Railway.
Sumit Thakur, Chief PRO, Western Railway said: “The loading achieved in February this year is 9.4% more as compared to that of 6.63 MT in the corresponding month of last year. We loaded 5096 wagons per day in Feb ’22 which is 6.8% more than that of 4771 wagons per day in comparison to Feb ’21”.
Western Railway has transported commodities weighing more than 3.06 lakh tonnes through its 794 parcel special trains, which included agricultural produce, medicines, medical equipment, fish, milk etc. The revenue generated through this transportation has been approx. Rs. 109 crore. They ran 168 milk special trains with a load of more than 1.20 lakh tonnes. Similarly, 173 Covid-19 special parcel trains with a load of more than 35,000 tonnes were also run to transport essential commodities, and loading in Salt (390 wagons/day).
To help the farmers find new markets for their produce and also for its economical and fast transportation, 177 Kisan Rails with a load of more than 48,700 tonnes have also been run during this period from various divisions. Likewise, on Central Railway, 68.56 MT of freight were loaded and carried between April 2021 to February 2022. They loaded 6.51 MT of freight in February 2022.
“Our freight loading stood 6.51 MT as against 5.93 MT achieved in February-2021, registering 9.8% increase. From April 2021 to February 2022, the freight loading is 68.56 MT as against loading of 55.08 MT in the corresponding period last year,” said Shivaji Sutar, Chief PRO, Central Railway. The top commodities have been Coal with loading figures of 36.94 million tonnes followed by Containers with loading figures of 8.79 million tonnes for the period April- 2021 to February-2022.