CHENNAI: The dedicated freight corridor from Chennai to Delhi, announced in the railway budget, would not only cut down the cost of transporting goods from Chennai by 20 to 30 per cent but also open a sea route for traders in the north.
This would be the first time southern region would have such a long distance freight corridor, says Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) chairman Rafeeque Ahmed.
While Ahmed feels that auto component manufacturing sector in Chennai and northern India would benefit more by the project, Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary general K Saraswathi feels that the proposal to have a new freight corridor between Delhi and Chennai will open up the market for Tamil Nadu industries. This, she added, is likely to reduce the transportation cost.
Rafeeque added that industrial units situated in the middle of the corridor say in Bhopal or Nagpur stand to benefit immensely.
“They would have access to the sea route through a dedicated freight corridor and the movement of goods from the sea and from land would be fast,” he pointed out.
Similarly, the cement and engineering sector here, which does not have direct access to northern states would benefit immensely, said Saraswathi.
Considering the benefits, such a dedicated freight corridor should have been in place a long time ago, say leading figures in the industrial sector.
Meanwhile, maintaining that the project is still in the initial stages, Railway sources refused to divulge details. “The freight corridor would have a dedicated line,” said a senior railway official.
A project of such a scale requires massive funding, which authorities must identify.
“The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will consider if an official request is made,” its senior representative Ichiguchi Tomohide told Express.
The Dedicated Freight Corridor Project (DFCP) linking Delhi and Mumbai receives funding from Japan.