New Delhi–The government on Friday signed an agreement for a $650 million loan from the World Bank towards the third tranche for construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) designed for faster movement of goods between northern and eastern parts of India.

According to an Indian Finance Ministry release here, the “objective of the EDFC-III Project is to augment rail transport capacity, improve service quality and enhance freight carriage throughput on the 401 km Ludhiana-Khurja section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, and develop institutional capacity of the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. to build, maintain and operate the entire DFC network.”

EDFC is 1,840 km long and extends from Ludhiana in Punjab to Kolkata in West Bengal as a series of projects with three sections.

The objective of the project is to augment railway freight carrying capacity along the railway corridor between Ludhiana and Kolkata.

The project will benefit industries of northern and eastern India, which rely on railway network for transportation of material inputs, the statement said.