PUTTING DFCS ON THE FAST TRACK

Lot of hopes are pinned to the DFCS that are ex­pected to bring a par­a­digm shift in the way cargo moves across the length and breadth of the coun­try. Anshuman Sharma, MD, DFCCIL in a oneto-one with Vi­jay Ku­rup, de­tails on the progress in de­vel­op­ment of DFC

Maritime Gateway - - Contents -

ANSHUMAN SHARMA MD, DFCCIL

QLast week there was news that al­most 100 per cent of the land has been ac­quired on the Western Ded­i­cated Freight Cor­ri­dor (WDFC). Is there a pos­si­bil­ity that the com­mis­sion­ing of the WDFC would be ad­vanced? When are the Phase1 and Phase 2 stretch of the WDFC likely to be com­mis­sioned?

A The dif­fer­ent stretches would be opened at dif­fer­ent stages. The dates of the var­i­ous stages are:

Re­wari - Mar­war De­cem­ber 2018. Mar­war - Palan­pur Septem­ber 2019. Palan­pur Makarpura March 2020. Makarpura - Vaitarna - JNPT March 2020.

Re­wari - Dadri March 2020.

The en­tire stretch would be com­pleted by March 2020. A Def­i­nitely land ac­qui­si­tion has been the sin­gle big­gest chal­lenge. We have ac­quired 98 per cent of the land in the Western Ded­i­cated Freight Cor­ri­dor and we ex­pect to com­plete the re­main­ing ac­qui­si­tion soon.

Q In one of your brochures you have stated that Pri­vate Freight Ter­mi­nal Pol­icy, Port con­nec­tiv­ity Pol­icy, and Pri­vate sid­ing Pol­icy of DFCCIL has been ap­proved. Could you ex­pand on this? Q What has been the most chal­leng­ing part of the work?

A DFCCIL has its own con­nec­tiv­ity pol­icy to at­tract max­i­mum traf­fic to the planned cor­ri­dors. These poli­cies are sep­a­rate for port con­nec­tiv­ity, Pri­vate sid­ing con­nec­tiv­ity and Pri­vate Freight Ter­mi­nal con­nec­tiv­ity, bring­ing out clear el­i­gi­bil­ity con­di­tions, ac­tions to be taken, ap­pli­ca­ble Fees, Se­cu­rity deposits, etc for faster clear­ance of the pro­pos­als. This has en­abled many brown­field and green­field in­dus­tries/play­ers to fi­nalise their busi­ness pro­pos­als.

Q One of the man­dates of DFC is to pro­vide a non-dis­crim­i­na­tory ac­cess to freight trains of In­dian Railways and other qual­i­fied op­er­a­tors. Could you elab­o­rate on the modus operandi? How other qual­i­fied op­er­a­tors can par­take in the DFC?

A The rev­enue re­ceipts of DFCCIL will be mainly through Track ac­cess charge payable by its users. Ini­tially IR will be the sole user. But with the grow­ing econ­omy, pol­icy ini­tia­tives and vast ca­pac­ity be­ing de­vel­oped there are an­tic­i­pa­tions for more and more op­er­a­tors in fu­ture. The multi op­er­a­tor regime will re­quire clear poli­cies for ac­cess and charg­ing meth­ods without any el­e­ment of dis­crim­i­na­tion. The is­sues will mainly be re­quir­ing li­cens­ing, safety clear­ances, rolling stock ap­provals etc, by the Min­istry of Railways.

Q There is a re­luc­tance of In­dian com­pa­nies to in­vest in lo­gis­tics, be­cause the re­turn it of­fers on cap­i­tal is much lower com­pared with other in­dus­tries. What has been the re­sponse of pri­vate in­vestors to build MMLP at nodal points along the DFC?

A In­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ments re­quire long term in­vest­ments and the de­rived ben­e­fits of de­vel­op­ing econ­omy nor­mally speeds up the an­tic­i­pated gains through other al­lied in­fra­struc­ture like the cor­ri­dors be­ing built. With the busi­ness ori­ented poli­cies of DFCCIL var­i­ous pro­pos­als for set­ting up the Pri­vate Freight Ter­mi­nals, Lo­gis­tics Hub con­nec­tiv­ity etc have been re­ceived. DMICDC and IWAI are hav­ing pro­pos­als for set­ting up these with con­nec­tiv­ity to DFC cor­ri­dor. Con­sol­i­da­tion and de-con­sol- ida­tion of cargo at con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion with fa­cil­i­tated ware­hous­ing, cus­toms clear­ances etc re­duce the nor­mal lo­gis­tics costs and time for the cargo which qual­i­fies as the fea­si­bil­ity as­pect of the lo­gis­tics ter­mi­nal.

Con­nec­tiv­ity would be pro­vided only to our sta­tions and not to mid sec­tions. Line con­nec­tiv­ity would have to be built by pri­vate train op­er­a­tors. So far 3 ter­mi­nal op­er­a­tors have been ap­proved.

Q What is project Sak­sham?

A Project "Sak­sham" is ini­ti­ated by DFCCIL in as­so­ci­a­tion with CII for train­ing and ca­pac­ity build­ing, skill de­vel­op­ment to the dis­ad­van­taged can­di­dates to en­able them earn liveli­hood. Un­der this ini­tia­tive a to­tal of 3400 ben­e­fi­cia­ries from BPL and PAP (Project Af­fected Per­sons) cat­e­gories have been trained at 11 lo­ca­tions and ap­prox­i­mately 2200 can­di­dates placed/ self-em­ployed span­ning across the Western and the Eastern Cor­ri­dor net­works of DFCCIL.

The pro­gram trains youth be­tween 18 -30 years of age from BPL and

PAP cat­e­gories un­der short du­ra­tion cour­ses rang­ing from 200 to 250 hours in­clud­ing train­ing on em­ploy­a­bil­ity, so­cial and soft skills. as­sess­ments are con­ducted post com­ple­tion of the train­ing and suc­cess­ful can­di­dates are pro­vided suit­able job op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Q Traf­fic on Eastern DFC com­prises of bulk cargo and gen­eral goods. Is there scope for con­tainer­i­sa­tion?

A Yes with the speed of de­liv­ery through DFCS the cargo flow in con­tain­ers will get a big boost. It would not be dou­ble stack con­tainer move­ment. But if the con­tainer vol­umes arise we can have longer trains in this cor­ri­dor.

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