Rail PSU floats tender inviting pvt players to be part of ”roll-on roll-off” service

Railway PSU DFCCIL has floated a tender inviting private players to be part of the “roll-on, roll-off” service between Palanpur in Gujarat and Rewari in Haryana on the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC), which would potentially get around 2,500 trucks off the roads in the region.

The request for proposal (RFP) issued by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) on February 16 states that the winning bidder will have the sole rights to ferry fully-loaded trucks on trains on the 714-km stretch for a period of one year.

It will involve 900 trips, each with 45 loaded trucks, on the new stretch of the WDFC, which will be operational in March, the document said.

“Two rakes consisting of 45 BRN wagons each, modified/customised and made suitable by the Indian Railways for loading and unloading of trucks on/from each of the wagons as Roll On Roll Off (RO-RO) service. Further facilities like entry/exit ramps, connectivity from concerned traffic yard to a motorable road and lighting in concerned traffic yard would be provided by the DFCCIL,” the document says.

It also states that the base value of the contract will be Rs 81 crore, based on calculations that each trip would earn an estimated Rs nine lakh.

Any winning bid would have to be over this amount.

The RO-RO service aims to reduce carbon emission and congestion as 66,000 diesel-guzzling trucks pass through Delhi and its adjoining areas every day on the way to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Around 20,000 trucks not servicing the NCR enter the region to travel further.

Officials said this system will create a win-win situation for truckers as goods will be transported in a safe and faster way, saving the cost on diesel and man-hours, besides reducing pollution levels.

Officials estimate that around 2,500 to 3,000 trucks ply between Rewari and Palanpur on a daily basis.

From Rewari, the trucks carry goods to the ports of Gujarat and areas such as Kutch, Mundra, Kandla, Gandhidham, Palanpur, Mehsana, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat.

From Palanpur, the trucks move towards the National Capital Region (NCR) and north Indian cities such as Rewari, Hisar, Agra, Ghaziabad, Haridwar, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Ludhiana.

The time taken by road is about 24-36 hours and the cost to the customer is around Rs 20,185 per truck for approximately 714 km, officials said. This also leads to high carbon emission and congestion.

Using the WDFC would mean that the trucks would cover a similar distance (636 km) in 10 hours at a speed of 75 kmph.

The service was first launched in 2017 by then railway minister Suresh Prabhu, but failed within a month due to technical reasons.

The RFP will be opened on March 18.