PM Modi to inaugurate section of Dedicated Freight Corridor on Tuesday

Source:, Dec 27, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually inaugurate a section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) on 29 December.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal will also be present for the inauguration of the 351- km-long New Khurja-New Bhaupur section of the Eastern DFC.

An Operation Control Centre (OCC) will also be inaugurated at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. The OCC will act as the command centre for the entire Eastern (DFC).

The section is built at a cost of ₹5,750 crore and is funded by the World Bank. The new stations in the line are Bhaupur, Kanchausi, Achalda, Ekdil, Bhadan, Makhanpur, Tundla, Hathras, Daudkan and Khurja.

“In this stretch, 68 level crossings have been eliminated for augmenting speed and safety. The section has 19 major bridges, 414 minor bridges, seven rail flyovers. Tata – Aldesa JV was responsible for civil work and Alstom was responsible for the system (signalling and electrical),” according to the railway ministry.

Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. of India was set up by the government to decongest railway network, ensure faster movement of goods, increase the national carrier’s freight capacity network and reduce overall logistics cost for companies.

“Decongestion of existing Kanpur-Delhi mainline, presently, the Kanpur (Bhaupur) Khurja section is among the most congested sections of Indian Railways and line capacity utilisation is more than 150 percent. With the release of freight trains to DFC route, Indian Railways section will be able to run faster and punctual trains and will get time to do routine maintenance which was earlier a daunting challenge,” the ministry said, adding that average speed of goods train will increase up to 60-70 kmph from 25-30 kmph now. In the first phase, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. of India is constructing the Western and Eastern DFC. The Eastern freight corridor will start from Sahnewal near Ludhiana, Punjab will pass through Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and terminate at Dankuni in West Bengal. The Western corridor will connect Dadri, Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), Mumbai and will traverse through UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Three more DFCs are also in pipeline.

India’s first private train on Indian Railways network to hit tracks by this year

Source: Business Standard, Jul 02, 2020

First private train to be out by April 2023! Today Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav announced that the first private train on Indian Railways network is expected to hit tracks for passengers sometime in the month of April 2023. Yesterday, Request for Qualifications (RFQ) has been invited by Piyush Goyal chaired Railway Ministry for the participation of private players for the operation of passenger train services over 109 Origin Destination pairs of railway routes through the introduction of as many as 151 modern trains. According to Railway Ministry, the 109 OD pairs have been formed into a total of twelve clusters across the country’s railway network. Each of these modern trains will have a minimum of 16 coaches.

According to the Railway Ministry, the project would entail investment from the private sector of around Rs 30,000 crore. Interestingly, this is the first such initiative of investment from the private sector for operating passenger train services over the Indian Railways network. The majority of these modern trains are likely to be manufactured under the Modi government’s Make in India initiative.

For financing, procuring, operation as well as for maintenance of the trains, the private entity will be responsible, the Railway Ministry has stated. The modern private trains will be designed for a maximum speed of 160 km per hour, therefore, there would be a drastic reduction in journey time, according to the ministry. According to the national transporter, the aim of this initiative is to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced transit time, reduced maintenance, provide enhanced safety to passengers, provide world-class travel experience, creation of jobs, as well as to minimize the demand-supply deficit in the sector of passenger transportation. For the project, the concession period will be 35 years. The private firm will have pay to the national transporter energy charges as per actual consumption, fixed haulage charges as well as a share in Gross Revenue, which will be determined through a transparent process of bidding.

Piyush Goyal wants to put Indian Railways on fast track with private sector help

Source:, Jan 12, 2020

INDORE : Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday referred to the famous ‘railgaadi’ song of actor Ashok Kumar while stressing the need for support of the private sector to accelerate development of the railways.

Piyush Goyal also announced that a special train will soon operate from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi. (PTI)

He dismissed speculations of privatisation of the railway network, but highlighted the need for a public-private partnership funding model for the sector.

“Some trains are still chugging (moving slowly) like actor Ashok Kumar’s ‘railgaadi’ song (due to lack of infrastructure),” Goyal told reporters here, referring to the song from Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1968 film “Aashirwad”.

The film is remembered for the rap-like “railgaadi’ song performed by legendary actor late Ashok Kumar.

“We want to end the era of slow moving trains by making way for the fast speed-driven MEMU and electric trains, like the trains being run in suburban Mumbai (with the help of private sector),” he said while advocating for reforms in the railways.

Asked about the opposition to private investments, Goyal said, “The common public is not opposing it. You might be noticing the noise elsewhere. In fact, people are welcoming that the railway is entering a new era.”

He said the railways wants to attract an investment of ₹50 lakh crore in next 12 years to expand the facilities in passenger and goods trains through modernisation.

“This big investment is impossible through the railway and government budgets. So, the way out is to work on a public-private partnership (PPP) model,” he said.

Due to inadequate investments in railways in the past, the government machinery faced the burden, he said, adding that the demand of ticket-seekers in some trains was more than 150 per cent.

Allaying fears of privatisation of the railway network, Goyal said, “The Indian Railways is a treasure of the country and its people. This will continue and reins of the railways will remain with the government.”

Goyal also announced that a special train will soon operate from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, which is famous for the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The train will be run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, the minister said.

Before talking to reporters here, the minister offered prayers at the Mahakaleshwar Temple in neighbouring Ujjain.

A huge number of devotees from the country and abroad come tothe temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Goyal said tenders have been issued recently for the infrastructure development and revival of facilities at five railway stations in the country under the PPP model. He also said that tenders may be issued in the coming days to develop Indore and other railway stations in the country under this model.

Europe’s largest intercity bus network plans to enter Indian market

Source: Business Standard, Dec 17, 2019

Kolkata: FlixBus, largest intercity bus network in Europe, and backed by investors General Atlantic and Silver Lake, is planning to venture into India.

The company operates on the same model as cab service aggregators such as Uber or Ola.

It does not own any bus or hire drivers but facilitates operational support, like scheduling, and ticketing, among other things. The company partners regional bus operators, and offers rides across Europe and in the US. It works on the principle of dynamic pricing, through an online platform and a FlixBus app.

“We recently started our recruitment for the Indian market and the project is still in an early business development stage,” said a spokesperson of FlixBus Global over e-mail.

One of the most successful German start-ups, it was launched by Daniel Krauss, André Schwämmlein and Jochen Engert in 2013, after deregulation of the bus market in that country. FlixBus is a subsidiary of FlixMobility, which has also launched train services. The firm works with around 300 independent bus and train entities.

In 2015, FlixBus began expanding internationally, with long-distance networks in France, Italy, Denmark, Netherlands and Croatia, as well as cross-border services to Norway, Spain and Britain. It connects a little more than 2,000 destinations in 30 countries, says the company.

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India’s first inland waterways shipment to start with PepsiCo

Source: Business Standard, Oct 28, 2018

Kolkata: The country’s first container movement on inland waterways vessel post-independence scheduled on Tuesday, 30th October, from Kolkata would start with a consignment of the PepsiCo.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) officials said the food and Beverage giant would move 16 containers from Kolkata to Varanasi on NW-1.

PepsiCo (India) will move 16 containers equivalent to 16 truckloads – filled with food and snacks in the vessel MV RN Tagore which will reach Varanasi in 9-10 days, the officials said. Read the rest of this entry »

Global logistics meet in Delhi on Sept 26

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Sept 17, 2018

Chennai: On September 26, nearly 1,000 delegates from 120 countries will congregate in Delhi to participate in the FIATA World Congress, to be hosted for the first time in India, to discuss various aspects related to logistics.

Founded in 1926, Fédération Internationale des Associations de Transitaires et Assimilés (FIATA) or International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations is a non-governmental organisation, and represents over 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms, employing around 10 million people in 150 countries.

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National Logistics Portal to help boost trade competitiveness

New Delhi: The first phase of the National Logistics Portal (NLP) — a digital platform to bring all stakeholders in the logistics sector on board to cut down transaction cost and time for businesses — is likely to be implemented by March, a government official said.

“The Department of Commerce, which is designing the portal, has already received an approval of the ‘proof of concept’ from a Committee of Secretaries and is now working on the detailed project report,” a government official associated with the project told BusinessLine.

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Govt plans to introduce direct delivery scheme at inland container depots

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jun 24, 2018

Mumbai: Buoyed by the success of the direct port delivery (DPD) scheme introduced at seaports, the Government proposes to implement a similar concept at inland container depots (ICDs) or dry ports to cut time and costs for cargo imported in containers.

Under DPD, import containers are delivered directly to pre-approved clients at the port instead of waiting at a container freight station (CFS) located outside for clearance, which reduces cargo dwell time and costs for shippers. DPD was first implemented in the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, India’s biggest container gateway, and later extended to all the gateway ports, including Chennai Port and privately-run Mundra port.

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E-way bill: Transporters can now use common enrolment number across multiple States

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jun 20, 2018

New Delhi: To help the logistics industry comply with e-way bill requirements with ease, the Finance Ministry has announced new rules for transporters running businesses in multiple States.

The Central Goods and Services Tax (Sixth Amendment) Rules, 2018, which came into effect on June 19, prescribes: “A transporter who is registered in more than one State or Union Territory having the same Permanent Account Number, may apply for a unique common enrolment number by submitting the details in FORM GST ENR-02 using any one of his Goods and Services Tax Identification Numbers, and upon validation of the details furnished, a unique common enrolment number shall be generated and communicated to the said transporter.”

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Intra-state e-way bill rolled out in five states from Sunday

Source: Business Standard, Apr 16, 2018

E-way bill requirement for intra-state movement of goods has been rolled out in five states from Sunday.

The bill for inter-state movement of goods valued over Rs 50,000 was rolled out on April 1. The Goods and Services Council had decided on a staggered roll out of intra-state e-way bill starting with five states — Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala.

From midnight till 5 pm on Sunday, about 0.24 million e-way bill (both inter state and intra-state) was generated on the portal, an official said.

The official said there was not much increase in the generation of bill on Sunday on account of intra-state roll out.

On the day of inter-state roll out of e-way bill on April 1, about 0.28 million such bills were generated in 24 hours.

The official said one reason for not much increase in the number could be because Gujarat has mandated e-way bill for intra-state movement for only 19 items. These items include edible oil, oil cakes, ceramic tiles, iron and steel, processed tobacco, gutkha, cigarette, cement, timber products, tea, marble and granite.

Since the roll out of e-way bill for inter-state movement of goods from April 1, more than 9.1 million bills have been generated till Saturday. Karnataka is the only state which had rolled out e-way bill system for intra-state movement of goods from April 1.

Touted as an anti-evasion measure and would help boost tax collections by clamping down on trade that currently happens on cash basis, the e-way bill provision of the goods and services tax (GST) was first introduced on February 1.

However, its implementation was put on hold after the system developed glitches in generating permits. With several states also starting to generate intra-state e-way bills on the portal, the system developed a snag.Since then, the platform has been made more robust so that it can handle load of as many as 75 lakh inter-state e-way bills daily without any glitch.