Keeping India’s economic development on track

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An award-winning client is driving major enhancements to India’s sustainable economic development.  

Undertaking a national-scale construction of thousands of miles of railway in India, has required a remarkable programme from the very top.

And, it’s a programme that is being delivered with gusto by the award-winning Dedicated Freight Corporation of India, a client created to construct, maintain and operate 2,843km of double-track electrified railway tracks across India for $12bn as the country aims to create a dedicated freight capacity.

What is the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India?

The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India was created to undertake the development of almost 3,000km of railway. The project has been funded by the World Bank and JICA, alongside equity from the Indian government. Another route spanning 538km is also in the pipeline through a PPP financing model.  

Such a vast undertaking required acquisition of more than 10,000 hectares across 61 districts and seven states and has adopted state-of-the art technologies that include mechanised track laying machines, canted points and crossings for high speed over turnouts, reinforced earth walls for quick construction and space optimisation, automatic signalling for increased capacity for trains and communication based train control for safe train operation.

To make this happen, functional independence was provided to contractors to complete the project by proposing optimal state-of-the-art designs, adopt globally prevalent construction methods and adopt energy-efficient methods and equipment to achieve timely construction and cost-efficiency.

Complexity and scale require extensive planning

To suit the linear nature of the project, space-time diagram and time-location software was adopted and for close real-time monitoring, web-based and mobile-app based monitoring have been implemented.

In addition to the reduction in logistic cost and transit time of freight movement, the project is expected to bring in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and already, the programme has completed and commissioned 1,277km of double track.

All of this had to be achieved with the best possible availability of talent across the industry and at a competitive price. So the framing of tender conditions had to be attractive and friendly for international bidders and care has been taken to ensure adequate participation from domestic vendors for capacity development and long-term sustainability especially for operation and maintenance phase.

The tender conditions also incorporated the concepts of sustainable procurement and lifecycle costing while capacity building for ‘right sourcing’ and handling environmental, social and governance issues had to be implemented across the organisation.

As a result, almost half of the new network capacity has been delivered, providing a major enhancement to India’s sustainable economic development.

The successful management and delivery of thousands of miles of freight rail capacity has been judged by a panel of FIDIC experts who named the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India the FIDIC Contracts Client of the Year for 2022.