EDFC’s Sahnewal-New Khurja section opens, freight transit from Ludhiana to Mumbai now possible in 20 hours

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LUDHIANA : City industrialists of Ludhiana will now benefit from a swift 20-hour transit of goods to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Maharashtra, thanks to the inauguration of the Sahnewal-New Khurja section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) recently. Previously, covering this distance took seven to eight days.

According to project Director Surender Kumar, trains can travel at an average speed of 100 km h on the dedicated corridor, reducing the total distance to JNPT from the city to around 1,900 km. This development is expected to ensure that goods reach the port within 20 hours as per a report.

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit participated in the inauguration of the 401-km-long Sahnewal to the New Khurja section at the new Khanna railway station.

This section was inaugurated for public use by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi through video conferencing from Ahmedabad. During the event, Purohit stated that the corridor would accelerate development by facilitating high-speed goods trains.

He highlighted that the section is part of a high-speed and high-capacity railway corridor exclusively for the transportation of freight, emphasising that it would reduce logistic costs, increase speed, enhance the safety of freight movement, generate employment opportunities, and attract investments in various sectors.

The industry has welcomed the move, with Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) President Upkar Singh Ahuja stating, “With the significantly reduced time, our inventory carrying costs will decrease, and we will be able to deliver products to customers on time.”

Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations (FOPSIA) President Badish Jindal noted that the Eastern Freight Corridor is not yet complete.

The project director mentioned that the 1,900-km corridor connecting the city with Dhankuni in West Bengal has been completed up to Son Nagar in Bihar, and work is ongoing on the 600-km-long section to the port.

Jindal highlighted that most of the raw materials required by the steel industry come from the East, currently costing around Rs 4,000 per tonne for iron via trucks. He hoped this cost would decrease to Rs 2,000 when the corridor is completed.

The corridor, starting from Ludhiana and ending at Dankuni in West Bengal, with a junction at Khurja near Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh connecting it to the Western Corridor, will significantly improve freight transportation efficiency.

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